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Political Geography Concepts

Political geography obviously tackles about ‘politics’ and ‘geography’ but this concept covers many aspects. According to Cox, political geography is the sum of its parts and each entity influences the other; but taken as a whole, it deals with ‘territory’ and ‘territoriality’. 1 Oftentimes, three geographical scales are used: international, national, and intra-national. 2 Overall, political geography deals with the numerous aspects of boundaries among countries, states, international organizations, nation development, and many more.

One of the concepts in political geography and territoriality is colonialism. Colonialism: Past and Present Colonialism refers to the ‘practice of domination’ oftentimes, it comes synonymous with imperialism since both involve control over politics and economy of a territory. However, colonialism comes from the root word ‘colony’, pertaining to a group of people in a territory under rule. The colonizer transfers a portion of their population to the new territory, lives there permanently, and controls the resources and governance.

3 Domination among territories began in the ancient times most notably the Greeks in the Mediterranean, Persians in the Middle East, Huns in Mongolia and many more. Another period of major colonialism spurred in Europe from 15th to the 20th century after Spanish Christopher Columbus discovered the continents of the New World (now North and South America). Many European empires continued colonizing by sending military force however this undergone oppositions and debates that is why several schemes were employed.

The British used ‘civilizing mission’ to alter colonialism in order to justify the presence of the armed force. On the other hand, the Spaniards used Christianity and relaying a religious mission instead of domination thus giving their military force a new name—The Crusades. 3 Soon, numerous explorers sailed to America, Asia, Australia, and Africa in search for more colonies. 4 Colonialism, as many critics argued, still exists but in a new form called ‘neocolonialism’ where a new style of domination and imperialism is enforced.

The former colonies of America and Europe still feel that they are under control since new policies are forced onto their legislation, economy, and social structure. Capitalism is considered as the new form of colonialism. The colonists, the West, are still hanging on to their colonies and depends on them for raw resources such as oil in the Middle East. However, unlike in 1500s the political allegiance is not as strong as before unlike today where military force will be used without hesitation to protect their economic interests. Israel’s Political Geography

Political geography is a multi-faceted concept that creates and re-creates systems of organization and even conflicts between nations. Geography has played a role in colonialism and imperialism heightened by politics. One of the countries that suffered from the conflicts of political geography is Israel who still battles with a long-time enemy, the Palestine. The two nations have been fighting for a territory since the ancient times and just last year, Palestinians bombed Gaza—a border that Israel built. 5 Gaza is an important entry point for the Palestinians to get their basic needs that Israel deprived them of.

The border involves significant scales and symbolism in terms of geography, politics, and history but the current situation turned to be ironic, far from what happened 3,500 years ago. The Israelites fled from Egypt under the oppressive rule of the Pharaoh, settled in Canaan leaving the settlers homeless, and now returning to the land they had forsaken. 6 It’s amazing how an old-time dispute brought by forced entry and domination are revived these days. This only signifies that geography and politics are unseparable and both can either lift or destroy a territory. Bibliography Cox, Kevin.

Political Geography. Wiley-Blackwell, 2000. Khon, Margaret. “Colonialism”, (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2009). Khouri, Rami. “The Tragic Political Geography of Fleeing. ” http://belfercenter. ksg. harvard. edu/publication/18024/tragic_political_geograp hy_of_fleeing. html? breadcrumb=/ (accessed May 4 2009). MSNBC, “Israel lets medicine, fuel in through Gaza,” http://www. msnbc. msn. com/id/28389767/, (accessed May 4 2009). Taylor, Peter James & House, John William. Political Geography. Rowman and Littlefield, 1984. Wolny, Philip. Colonialism, The Rosen Publishing Group, 2005.

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