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GEOGRAPHY EDUCATION

Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.

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sovereignty

Why Somaliland is east Africa’s strongest democracy

“Though unrecognized by the international community, the country benefits from a strong social contract between government and citizens.”

 

Drop a pin on a map of eastern Africa and chances are it will not land on a healthy democracy. Somalia and South Sudan are failed states. Sudan is a dictatorship, as are the police states of Eritrea, Rwanda and Ethiopia. In this context tiny Somaliland stands out. Somaliland was a British protectorate, before it merged with Italian Somalia in 1960 to form a unified Somalia. It broke away in 1991, and now has a strong sense of national identity. It was one of the few entities carved up by European colonists that actually made some sense. Somaliland is more socially homogeneous than Somalia or indeed most other African states (and greater homogeneity tends to mean higher levels of trust between citizens). For fear of encouraging other separatist movements in the region, the international community, following the African Union, has never obliged [to recognize Somaliland]. Nation-building on a shoestring helped keep Somaliland’s politicians relatively accountable, and helped to keep the delicate balance between clans.

 

Tags: devolutionpolitical, states, sovereignty, autonomy, unit 4 political, Somalia, Africa.

Source: www.economist.com

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D.C. Votes Overwhelmingly To Become 51st State

District of Columbia voters passed the referendum Tuesday with nearly 80 percent in favor. Congress, which will ultimately decide the fate of the federal district, is not expected to approve it.

 

Voters in the District of Columbia passed a measure on Tuesday in favor of petitioning Congress to become a state in the union.

79 percent of voters cast votes in favor of the ballot measure, which splits the district into a residential state with a small federal district in the middle of it for government buildings and monuments, as we have reported.

The newly approved measure had four parts:

  1. agree that the District should be admitted to the Union as the State of New Columbia
  2. approve of a Constitution of the State of New Columbia to be adopted by the Council
  3. approve the State of New Columbia’s boundaries
  4. agree that the State of New Columbia shall guarantee an elected representative form of government.

Source: www.npr.org

Questions to Ponder: Why do the residents of the District of Columbia want to change the legal status of the District to a state?  Why might some states and politicians NOT want to see a 51st state?  What is needed in the United States to admit a new state (Puerto Rico is still a possibility to become the 51st state)?  

 

Tags: political, sovereignty, autonomy, Washington DC.

Where Do Borders Need to Be Redrawn? – Room for Debate

What parts of the world should rethink their maps? Why and how?

Source: www.nytimes.com

Maps are always changing as a new nation gets added and old lines cease to make sense. Territory is claimed and reclaimed.  This series of seven articles in the New York Times explores regional examples of how borders impacts places from a variety of scholarly perspectives.  Together, these article challenge student to reconsider the world map and to conceptualize conflicts within a spatial context.

 

Tags: bordersmapping, political, territoriality, sovereignty.

Lies Your World Map Told You: 5 Ways You’re Being Misled

“Unfortunately, most world political maps aren’t telling you the whole story. The idea that the earth’s land is cleanly divvied up into nation-states – one country for each of the world’s peoples – is more an imaginative ideal than a reality. Read on to learn about five ways your map is lying to you about borders, territories, and even the roster of the world’s countries.”

Source: www.polgeonow.com

This is a nice article to get students to look past the officialness of a world map to explore some of the complexities that make contemporary political geography so compelling.  In a nutshell, this article discusses 5 major themes:

  1. Missing countries
  2. Incomplete control
  3. Undefined borders
  4. Disputed territories
  5. Territorial seas

Tags: bordersmapping, political, territoriality, sovereignty.

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