locational boundary disputes

Electoral Geography
a key component of the states internal political geography.
Includes the geographic study of voting behavior, shows how the
way people vote maybe influenced by their geographic situation.
Political geographers study church affiliation, income level, ethnic
background, education, and numerous other social and economic
In order to learn why voters in a certain region voted the way they
Democracy, with representatives elected by district, spatial
organization of the districts determines his voice is heard.
Impacts on who is elected. The most direct control and contact
with the government is at the local level.
The US Constitution established territorial representation in the
House of Representatives.
Each representative is elected from a territorially defined district.
Census taken every 10 years-reapportionment, process where
districts are moved according to population shifts so that districts
have approximately the same number of people.
Electoral Geography
After reapportionment is complete, individual states redraw district
States use their own methods and criteria to redistrict themselves, most
important of which is equal population within districts.
The courts have called for representational equality of racial and
linguistic minorities.
Minority voters can be diluted by splitting them amongst many districts
ensuring that the majority population retains control of each district.
Courts have made decisions they require states to redistrict in a way that
would maximize minority representation.
The results since 1990s census - states have increased the number of
majority-minority districts in the House of Representatives from 27 to 52.
Majority-minority districts are packed districts in which a majority of
the population is from the minority.
In order to achieve these districts states have drawn misshaped voting
districts in order to connect minority populations in an attempt to join many
urban areas that often have large minority populations.
Electoral Geography
1812-Gov. Aldridge Gerry of Massachusetts created a district
designed to give his party and advantage.
Since then the term gerrymandering has been used to describe
redistricting for an advantage.
The US electoral map reflects gerrymandering but it is often
validated for important purposes: to provide representation to
minorities who without it would not be represented as effectively in the
House of Representatives without it.
Conversely by packing minorities into majority-minority districts it
concentrates minority votes creating countrywide government that is
less responsive to minority concerns.
Spatial organization of voting districts has a profound impact on
who is represented and who is not.
The voting patterns that emerge from elections help to reinforce
regionalism and can shape the governments response to issues in the
How are boundaries established and why do boundary
disputes occur?
Boundary-a vertical plane that cuts to the rocks below and
airspace above dividing one state territory from another.
Many boundaries were established on world maps before the
extent or significance of resources below the surface one.
Coal seams, oil, gas, are often split between states.
Europe: Cole-underneath Belgium, Netherlands, and the Rhur
area of Germany.
1950s-1960s Germany and the Netherlands argue over gas
reserves that lie beneath the subsoil between the boundaries.
Germans complained Dutch withdrawing natural gas from
beneath their subsoil.
Wanted compensation for their lost resource.
Iraq and Kuwait: oil in the Ramaylah Reserve lies beneath the
desert and crosses the boundary between those states.
How are boundaries established and why do boundary
disputes occur?
Iraq’s complain that Kuwait is drilling too many wells draining
the reserve too quickly.
Airspace-how high does the airspace extend?
most states believe in controlling airline traffic over their
territories but does not include control of the paths of satellites in
Establishing boundaries - between states it typically takes four
First - states defined the boundary through treaty-legal document
establishes point of latitude and longitude.
Second - cartographers delimit the boundary by drawing a map.
Third - if states desire, they demarcate the boundary with steel
posts, concrete pillars, fences, walls, or other visible means.
Final step - is to administrate the boundary - determine how it
will be maintained and how goods and people will cross it.
How are boundaries established and why do boundary
disputes occur?
Boundary disputes - often times boundaries are old and imprecise,
dictated by stronger power, gives a reason for weaker neighbors to
argue for change in boundaries.
Other times boundaries, like rivers, actually change course.
Resources lying across the boundary can also lead to conflict.
There are four types of boundary disputes:
one - definitional boundary disputes-based on the legal language
of the boundary agreement. Example: median line of a river, may
move back and forth in some cases hundreds of meters which can
cause serious disagreement between states. Solution is to refine the
definition in order to suit both parties.
Two - locational boundary disputes: center on the demarcation of
the boundary. The definition is not in dispute, but the interpretation
How are boundaries established and why do boundary
disputes occur?
Results from vague language and treaties which allow mapmakers
to delimit the line in various ways.
Three - operational boundary disputes: neighbors have differing
opinions over how the border should function. Example one state
wants to limit migration or the other does not.
Smuggling goods across borders and people can sometimes lead to
operational disputes.
Four - locational boundary disputes: becoming more common,
interval disagreements over natural resources, typically under the
Also involve international boundaries at sea.
Water supplies also lead to allocation of disputes. Example-Tigris,
the Nile, the Colorado, rivers the cross state borders. Upstream versus
downstream users often come and conflict.
How do geopolitics and critical geopolitics help us
understand the world?
Geopolitics is the interplay among geography, power, politics, and
international relations.
Geopolitics helps us understand the arrangement and forces that are
transforming the map.
There are two schools of classical geo-politicians: the German
school, the British and American school.
The German School of geopolitics-sought to explain why certain
states are powerful and how to become powerful.
German professor Frederick Ratzel: influenced by Darwin, state
resembles a biological organism whose lifecycle extends from birth
through maturity and ultimately declined and death.
To prolong states existence the state requires nourishment through
the acquisition of territories.
If a state is confined with static boundaries it will atrophy.
Territory is essential, the life-giving force. This type of philosophy
lead to Nazi expansionism.
How do geopolitics and critical geopolitics help us
understand the world?
The British American school: this school of thought, sought to offer
strategic advice for states and explain why countries interact on a global scale
the way that they do.
Founder of the school of thought was sir Halford J Mackinder of Oxford
He was concerned with power relationships that a time when Britain had
acquired a global empire.
To his contemporaries the oceans for the key to world domination, but he
disagreed. He concluded that land-based power but ultimately rule the world.
He argued that Eurasia was a resource-rich "pivot area" .
He believed that a great empire could before by anyone who controlled this
Later he renames this area the heartland, in his warning becomes known
as the heartland theory.
After the first world war he writes a book issuing a warning to the winners:
who rules East Europe command the heartland,
who rules the heartland commands the world island,
who rules the world island commands the world.
How do geopolitics and critical geopolitics help us
understand the world?
When he proposed his heartland theory, Russia was in disarray, and
facing revolution and Germany was gaining power.
But when the Soviet Union emerges the heartland theory begins to
attract renewed attention.
As Stalin grows in power in the Soviet Union in the 1940s the
theory offers strategies to keep the Soviets in check.
He encourages an alliance around the North Atlantic to join forces in
land and sea power against the heartland.
This influenced the United States and their containment policy
during the Cold War.
The US, Canada, and Western Europe formed an alliance called
Influence of Geopoliticians on politics - NATO still exist today and
has not invited Russia to join this military alliance.
It has extended membership to eastern European states as well as
the former republics of the Soviet Union.
What are supernational organizations, and what is the
future of the state?
supernational organization is composed of three or more states, forge
and association and form an administrative structure for mutual benefit in
the pursuit of shared goals.
Political, economic, cultural, and military.
There are between 60 and 100 supernational organizations that
currently exist.
Examples NATO, NAFTA, European Union.
Following World War I Woodrow Wilson proposed the formation of a
League of Nations.
Although proposed by Wilson the United States refused to join.
The US refusal weekend the league and led to its collapse in the chaos
of the beginning of the second world war.
It did lead to the creation of other supernational organizations such as
the Court of International Justice-adjudicate legal issues between states,
such as boundary disputes and fishing rights.
After World War II the United Nations is formed in order to promote
international security and cooperation.
What are supernational organizations, and what is the
future of the state?
There are currently 192 member states in the United Nations.
Within the UN there are many subsidiaries such as UNESCO United
Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization.
The WHO world health organization, the FAO the food and
agriculture organization that all work to benefit humanity.
The UN also has peacekeeping troops to help maintain stability and
contentious regions of the world.
Participation in the United Nations requires states to commit to
internationally approve standards of behavior. (not the United States,
regional supranational organizations - our regional scale supernational
organizations attempt to position states more strongly economically,
politically, militaristically.
Example-the Benelux countries.
The European Union has led to the elimination of certain tariffs
between nations, free or flow of labor, capital, and non-steel
What are supernational organizations, and what is the
future of the state?
In the 1980s there were 12 members including the three European
giants of Germany France and United Kingdom.
In 1992 the EU is formally established, in the late 90s established
a single currency the euro.
Integration has been a difficult process.
Diversity of the European states has been a challenge to integrate.
Many of the nations are concerned that it will lead to loss of
traditional state powers.
Different ethnic traditions and histories of conflict and
competition also make it a challenge.
The 2000 a global recession has led to major increases in
unemployment and an increase in nationalism.
What are supernational organizations, and what is the
future of the state?
Another issue is Turkey.
Turks have a strong interest in joining the EU but many Greeks
are hesitant as a result of their dispute of the island of Cyprus.
Other EU members worry about turkeys human rights record
against the Kurds.
Some feel that turkey isn't European enough to warrant
These concerns have alienated the Turkish people, many of whom
no longer want to join the EU.
How does supernationalism effect the state?
Example- the European Union: it's not a state, nor is it simply an
organization of states.
The EU is an unlike any other supranational organization.
It has a multifaceted government structure, with three Capital
Cities, and billions of euros flowing into its treasury.
The EU is extending into formulations, domestic policies, and
military policies, with sovereignty moving from states to the EU.
States whose people have been disempowered by their state
government feel a strong connection to the European Union.
Major challenges to the state as we know it are being caused by
the European Union.
As economic globalization expands it makes it even more difficult
for states to control economic relationships.
How does supernationalism effect the state?
Some states are giving up traditional regulatory powers as a result and others
seek to insulate themselves from the international economy.
Others are working to build supranational economic blocks that they hope will
help them cope with an increasingly globalized world.
Increase mobility has brought individuals from far places into much closer
contact than before.
Popular culture has also in many ways made national borders virtually
The role of religion as a forcing global affairs - states mission to defeat
extremism often produces support for state governments in the short-term, but the
state's inability to defeat extremist attacks may we can stay in the long term.
Some speculate that a new bipolar international system will emerge based on
recent events put in the Islamic world against the Judeo-Christian world.
Many question these ideas for their failure to recognize the diversity within
Islam and the Judeo-Christian realms and for its promotion of stereotypes.
Globalization is produced economic, social, and cultural geographies that look
less and less like the map of states.