International relations from a
    geographical perspective
   Q. What is geography good for?
   A. Defense and conquest.
   This, at least, is the oldest and most
    common answer to the question!
   geography was important to the Roman
    Empire, the Chinese Dynasties, the
    British Empire, & the expanding U.S.
    (19th c.)
Uses of geographical info.
   settlement (planting colonists and
    resisting "the natives")
   contesting claims of other potential
   waging war (against "natives" and other
   justifying the struggle for regional or
    global domination
H. Mackinder’s "heartland" theory
cold war “containment”
Consider these questions:
       What is the capital of Tanzania?
       What is the major export of Sri Lanka?
       On what battlefield did the British win
        control of North America?
   Q. What do these questions have in
   A. They are questions that lend
    themselves to geography-as-statecraft
Consider these questions:
   Which of the following is produced by
    asking questions like these?
       understanding of foreign places
       understanding of foreign people and
       understanding of how historical changes
        affect people
       understanding of globalization
       none of the above
   Geographers still find employment working
    for various branches of the military
   However, now many are struggling to
    redefine geopolitics through specializations
    such as:
       critical geopolitics
       political ecology
       cultural ecology
       conflict and peace studies
   a state is an independent country (though the
    term indicates a part of a country in common
   an independent country is afforded
    sovereignty by international laws,
    agreements, and precedents
   internationally recognized boundaries
   states supply public goods (like roads and
    education), regulate economic relations, seek
    legitimacy in the eyes of citizens and others,
    and direct relations with other states
         The power of the state
         resides in state authorities
   "L'état, c'est moi!" (I am the State!)
        Louis XIV

   There is only one way to construct such a Common Power as
    may be able to defend people from the invasion of foreigners
    and the injuries of one another, and thereby to secure that by
    their own industriousness and the fruits of the Earth they may
    nourish themselves and live contentedly. This is to confer all
    their power and strength upon one Man or upon one Assembly
    of men that may reduce all their wills to one will: which is to say
    they must appoint one man, or Assembly of men, to bear their
    Person. Every one must then acknowledge himself to be the
    source of the acts of the chosen leader who acts in support of
    the common peace and safety, and he or she must submit his
    or her will to the will of the leader and his or her judgment to
    the judgment of the leader.
        Thomas Hobbes Leviathan 1651 (paraphrase by P. Adams)
   a nation is a group of people with a claim to a shared
    past, common culture, and collective destiny
       some nations are virtually coextensive with states, forming
        nation-states (e.g. Japan, Sweden, Mongolia)
       some nations are struggling for autonomy/sovereignty and
        may lie entirely within a state (Quebec's situation in Canada)
        or across state borders (Kurdistan's situation in Iraq, Iran,
        Turkey, Syria region)
   Nationalism
       the passionate defense of national interests, either in a
        nation-state framework (where it is also called patriotism) or
        outside of such framework (where it is called by various
        names such as treason and terrorism, and usually
        suppressed violently)
Can you spot
any potential
problems here?
discontinuities in
formal culture
regions often
cause political
   a "hole" in a political territory created by a
    sovereign or semi-sovereign entity (like a
    state, tribal homeland, or Indian reservation)
    or by a fragment of a foreign country (like
    the U.S. enclave at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba)
   a district, province, region, town, etc. in a
    state that aligns itself politically with a foreign
    state, usually an adjacent one
 Lesotho   and   The Gambia
   a bit of a state that is separated from
    the rest of the state, such as Alaska (a
    U.S. exclave) and Kaliningrad (a
    Russian exclave bordering Lithuania and
    Poland on the Baltic Sea)

           Virtual exclave of
           Armenia & virtual
           enclave in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan & Armenia
   These two small countries remain hostile although there has
    been a 10 year ceasefire
   Azerbaijan has a Turkic Muslim population
   Armenia has an ethnically Armenian (Indo-European) Christian
   Nagorno-Karabagh region of Azerbaijan is an enclave, populated
    by Armenians
   Currently this area is held by Armenia and may become an
    exclave of Armenia
   The problems began when Stalin included Nagorno-Karabagh in
   Turkey is imposing an economic blockade on Armenia to try to
    force it to give up N-K
   Why is Turkey sympathetic to Azerbaijan?
          Enclave + Exclave = Trouble
   Two small countries in the Caucasus
   Hostile, although there has been a 10
    year ceasefire
   Azerbaijan has a Turkic Muslim
   Armenia has an ethnically Armenian
    (Indo-European) Christian population
   Nagorno-Karabagh region of Azerbaijan
    is an enclave, populated by Armenians
        Currently this area is held by Armenia
         and may become an exclave of Armenia
        The problems began under Stalin when
         Nagorno-Karabagh was included in the
         Baku Province (essentially Azerbaijan)
   Turkey is imposing an economic
    blockade on Armenia to try to force it to
    give up N-K
   Why is Turkey sympathetic to
Supranational political organizations
   organizations of states based on any form of
    economic or military cooperation, or on
    political coordination
   some are the vestiges of collapsed empires
    (Ottoman, Soviet Union, etc.)
   all imply some compromise of sovereignty,
    except possibly for the U.S., which is able to
    "participate" while setting the agenda
Four Supranational Entities
The insider/outsider
The insider-outsider view
   Once geographers begin to look at international
    relations they obtain a world view that is at odds with
    the views of mainstream America
   Mainstream: We are good people doing good things
    for the world and/or minding our own business so
    whoever opposes us or criticizes the U.S. must be
    misinformed, stupid, or evil.
   Geographers now work to promote understanding of
    the complex historical, economic, cultural and
    political issues behind global conflicts

 This segment only shown in class
Why don’t they like us?
1.   US Power
2.   US Influence
3.   Different values
4.   Personal experience
5.   History
6.   Pollution
7.   Unilateralism
US Power
   The U.S. is the richest, most powerful
    country in the world
   hence when people are unhappy they point
    the finger at us first
   this is particularly easy when the U.S. backs
    an oppressive government
   this is also easy when someone is
    personally affected by conditions outside of
    their control, like stepping on a landmine
    left by U.S. forces or losing a factory job
    because of U.S. trade policies
US Influence
   The U.S. has influenced politics in
    other countries in ways that are
    disruptive of local values and
    traditional ways of life
   Not everyone wants to live the
    American dream
   Should we expect them to?
Personal experience
       US is perceived to be the strongest force backing
        economic globalization, free markets, and the shift
        from subsistence to market economies
         People often lose their homes and their security when
          forced to leave the land, move to the city, and become
          part of a cash economy
         Once people give up their traditions and their security,
          there is no guarantee they will find a steady job or be able
          to sell what they produce
         The U.S. actively promotes trade and development policies
          that result in suffering
         For example, maquiladora factories in Mexico have been
          accused of serious mistreatment of workers and pollution
          of adjacent communities
       The U.S. is the only country in the world that has used
        nuclear weapons to kill people; the US has used weapons of
        mass destruction on civilian populations
          Hiroshima & Nagasaki, 1945, 100,000 fatalities
       Other casualties since WWII
          400,000 children died in Iraq as a result of the Gulf War (UN
          about 3,767 civilians in Afghanistan (769 more than the final
           Sept. 11 body count, and proportionately much higher)
          Millions of civilians have been killed or deprived of their rights in
           developing countries with US knowledge and consent
          1,000,000 died in a brutal war in Angola in which we supported
           Jonas Savimbi
          200,000 civilians were killed in East Timor (Indonesia) after Ford
           & Kissinger gave Suharto the OK
       The U.S. has supported various dictatorial regimes in other
        countries since WWII (collectively responsible for suppressing
        political dissent, killing millions of civilians, and running
        corrupt regimes)
          "Baby Doc" Duvalier
          Marcos
          Somoza
          Pinochet
          Suharto
          Hussein
          Musharaf
       US continued to maintain friendly relations with Argentina
        during its "dirty war" although the Argentine government was
        using torture and "disappearances" to suppress political
       Abu Graib
US Unilateralism
       The U.S. (Republican Congress and Bush administration) currently
        opposes virtually all global agreements and treaties:
          treaty on small arms trade (UN estimates there have been about 4,000,000
           small arms casualties since 1990) [allies: Latin American and African countries]
           [domestic pressure from NRA, $10 billion arms export industry]
          Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against
           Women [domestic pressure Population Research Institute (pro-life)] [debate
           blocked by Sen. Jesse Helms] [already ratified by 168 countries]
          Kyoto protocol on global warming [70 countries have ratified, including all EU
           countries] [domestic pressure from Competitive Enterprise Institute and other pro-
           business lobbies]
          Anti-ballistic missile treaty
          UN Convention on the Rights of the Child [allies: the Vatican, Iran, Iraq, other
           Islamic countries] [domestic pressure Sen. Jesse Helms, Christian Coalition, Family
           Research Council, Focus on the Family, the John Birch Society, and others]
          Treaty to ban landmines
          Rome Treaty creating International Criminal Court US finally gave in but
           displayed strong discomfort, then worked behind the scenes to win exemptions
           country by country
          U.S. policy of a "preemptive strike" (the privilege to prevent a country from
           attacking by attacking it first) is clearly not meant as a policy for any other country
           to follow; it is a special right reserved only for the U.S.
Why don’t they like us?
1.   Pollution
   For our purposes, "geopolitics" simply refers to political geography at
    the large scale: nations and international relations.
   Geopolitics has evolved from a branch of knowledge supporting
    conquest and empire building to a broader (and less ethnocentric) set
    of concerns.
   geopolitics now involves the effort to understand diverse elements of
    other cultures as these shape and interact with political elements at the
    nation and state level
   Nations and states are different things, and often coexist uneasily;
    nations without states fight for statehood and we refer to such
    movements as "nationalism."
   Political tension is predictable around an enclave or exclave,
    particularly if the population in this enclave or exclave is culturally
    similar to the majority in an adjacent state.
   Exposure to geopolitical ideas can lead one to question the taken-for-
    granted ideas about one's own country, and recognize the validity of
    both insider and outsider perspectives.

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