The Nation State

The Nation State

Chapter 15: The Nation-State The state is an important building block of the political organization of space. Any threats or challenges to our democracy? US Capitol

Citizens United vs. FEC? (PACs and lobbyists) Gerrymandering? Voter Suppression? Tribalism? Purple America Chapter Learning Objectives Summarize the role of states in the political organization

of space and the trends associated with global integration. Describe the diversity of states. Recognize the distinction between a state and a nation as differing political entities. Consider how the state wields power within its territory. Explain reasons for and patterns of state borders, and how they relate to contested boundaries. Understand the geographies of voting and elections. Terms & Definitions

Democracy Democracy is a political system which has many different meanings and can take different forms. It can be incorrectly used as a synonym for capitalism. Fundamentally, it means a government of, by, and for the people. Socialism A theory or system of social reform which contemplates a complete reconstruction of society, with a more just and equitable distribution of property and wealth. In practice, such a distribution of wealth is achieved by social ownership of the means of production, exchange and diffusion. Communism A system of government in which the state plans and controls the economy and a single, often authoritarian party holds power, claiming to make progress toward a higher social order in

which all goods are equally shared by the people. In its ideal form, social classes cease to exist, but there are not supposed to be coercive governmental structures. Fascism A philosophy or system of government that is marked by stringent social and economic control, a strong, centralized government usually headed by a dictator, and often a policy of belligerent nationalism (e.g. Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany). The Range of States Political organization of space states nation-states

multi-national states Division of space separate units of political authority steady rise in number of states (recent examples?) global integration allows for smaller states (why?) Nation-states vs multinational states (Why does it matter?)

The Range of States Power of States not all states are equal Superpowers influence world events Minor and major powers rise and fall Today US remains as largest superpower Dominance in global military spending hard power vs soft power

The Range of States Table 15.1 Ten largest military spenders in 2015 (US spends about as much as China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, UK, India, France, Japan and Germany combined.) The Range of States Wealth of Nations Use of gross national income per capita high, upper middle, lower middle, and low income

Shift in categories economic growth and decline global variations comparisons The Range of States Table 15.2 Switzerland: >$84,000 USA: >$54,000 World Bank classifies countries by gross national income.

Income categories, 2015. Contrasting Maps of Disparity Depicting Countries in Relative Space Map projections distort absolute space Affects shapes of areas Mercator projection Relative space Cartograms expand and

contract areas in relation to data The worlds poor. The Range of States Unequal States Income varies within countries Gini index measures spread of wealth across a population Most unequal vs. equal

Kuznets Curve: inequality relationships Political stability and national income Variation by social group Infant mortality and race Kuznets Curve. Pattern depicting how inequality is a measure of industrialization and urbanization.

The Range of States Amending of Kuznets Curve as an inflexion curve of rising inequality associated with advanced service sectors. The Range of States Dimensions of Difference Three main regimes of political organization Totalitarian Authoritarian Democracies

Democracy index gauges level of democracy Most democratic to least As of 2017, US is no longer listed as a ful l democracy Democracy Index The Range of States

The Democracy Index uses sixty indicators related to electoral process and political culture. (Full Democracies Flawed Democracies Hybrid Regimes Authoritarian) The Range of States Dimensions of Difference Democracy index relates to variables Kleptocracies enrich the political elite Classifications are snapshots in time States vary by quality of life The Range of States

Table 15.3 The Democracy Index classifies countries into different regimes. (As of 2017, US is no longer listed as a full democracy) The Range of States Dimensions of Difference Easterlin Paradox Once basic needs are met, little difference in happiness occurs if income increases Prospective measure: Gross national happiness

Case of Bhutan Denmark as the happiest society on earth? Rise and Fall of States Political geography of states constantly changing Crises of the State Three contemporary and interlinked crises: 1. Fiscal crisis occurs when state has more expenditures than revenues - tax flaws and shadow economy

2. Legitimation crisis occurs when a state loses its popular appeal and ability to govern 3. Rationality crisis occurs when a state makes poor decisions and other crises emerge Spatial Nature of the State Self-governing political unit with monopoly control over territory Must be recognized by other states to be legitimate Size Spatial characteristics

Territory and population Top five of both, territory and population US and BRICs Spatial Nature of the State Table 15.4 Top ten countries by area and population. Spatial Nature of the State

Size Size and potential Resources, demographics Extending reach beyond territory and economic unions Location of states Access to sea and landlocked states Resources, Dutch Disease and the resource curse Spatial Nature of the State

Landlocked states have additional effort to access global markets. Spatial Nature of the State Size National Environmental Ideologies Identity bound up with territory and its creative representation Wilderness, countryside, cities are texts used to generate

national identity A rustic church at Geirangerfjord embodies an idealized picture of the national landscape of Norway. Imagined Communities Benedict Anderson and national imaginaries Print capitalism and national discourse Three institutions of power The census, the map, and the museum

Together allow to imagine dominance over people and territory Shifting national imaginaries Rarely stable (Re)enacted through commemorative activities Nation, State, and Minorities Nations and States State vs Nation Political organization Community of people

Incongruence between nation and state Nation lacks a state States with more than one nation Minority groups, tolerance, and protections Nation, State, and Minorities Distribution of Kurds in the Middle East. Kurdish nation divided among separate states. The Territory of the State

Forces of Power Government, state, and national territory Deep state of entrenched power despite change in government Centripetal forces that unify states power External aggressions, federal structures, and national mass media and education, shared culture and language Centrifugal forces that disrupt states power Political and economic inequality Separatist movements

The Territory of the State Forces of Power Territorial integrity Legitimate force and territorial control Sameness and internal territorial integrity, marked differences can pressure state control Example of Brexit

Political geography of UK forces of power The Brexit vote Boundaries and Frontiers Type of borders: natural and artificial Stage for performance of national identity Tell a countrys history Define and contain

Porosity of Borders Hard and soft Porous and nonporous Boundary between North and South Korea. Boundaries and Frontiers Borders and conflict Where territorial sovereignty is disputed

Maritime boundaries: the South China Sea Search for valuable resources in the seas Claims and exclusive economic zones (EEZs) Borders and cooperation New perspectives Social construction of borders and importance to national identity

The South China Sea claims. Geography of Elections Maintain legitimacy by act of elections Distribution of votes National and regional Local patterns and the neighborhood effect Marked spatial

polarization of voting US elections Voting for presidential candidates in Nigeria, 2011. US Geography of Voting Clintons America. US Geography of Voting

The Swing to Trump. There are no Red or Blue States Geography of Elections Geography of representation political constituencies malapportionment and political power Gerrymandering and voting boundaries

Electoral systems first past the post or plurality voting proportional representation systems Congressional boundary redistricting in Maryland. History of Gerrymandering Why does it matter?

Figure 8-47: A political cartoon lampooned the odd shape of an electoral district in Massachusetts after Governor Elbridge Gerry approved oddly-shaped districts in a stacked vote strategy. Check out Georgias districts over time! How Does Gerrymandering Work? Red and Blue are trying to control up to 5 districts. Who has the most votes? Who wins? wasted vote excess vote

stacked vote Americas warped elections Geopolitics Study of the power relations between empires and states Concern of strategic world geographies Critical form looks at social construction of political space and social identity Material interests involved in such narratives

Popular geopolitics Role of popular culture and mass media structure in national identities and geographic understandings Exploring meaning, contestation, construction, and maintenance of political organization of space Business Interests vs. Human Rights? Guatemala (Arbenz Guzman), El Salvador (Oscar Romero), Chile (Salvador Allende vs. Augusto Pinochet & the Caravan of Death), Argentina (Juan Peron vs. military junta)

The Oesterheld family: Marina (18), Beatriz (19), Diana (21), Estela (25), Hector (58) disappeared in 1977-78 (Elsa, the mother, passed away in June 2015) What is the significance of these images? Chapter Summary States are separate units of political authority that are important building blocks of the organization of space. States have increased in number, especially since the beginning of the twentieth century. Not all states are equal. The more powerful are able to use their military strength to exert an outsized role in the world and impose

their will on others. Some also have stronger economies that afford different levels of world influence and power. Income inequality is a useful predictor of political stability. More equal societies tend to be more peaceful and less riven by conflict. It is not only the wealth of society that structures health outcomes and social performances; so does the level of inequality. Chapter Summary In terms of political organization, three main regimes can be identified: totalitarian systems, in which the government has control over wide and deep swathes of social, political, and economic life; authoritarian regimes, where power is concentrated but not so deeply entrenched as

in the totalitarian regimes; and democracies, where political power arises from the majority will of the people. States vary enormously along a variety of dimensions, including military might, economic wealth, and political freedom. We can identify three contemporary and interlinked types of crises that nations face: fiscal, legitimation, and rationality. A state is a self-governing political unit that must be recognized by other states and the majority of its own population in order to be legitimate. Chapter Summary One way that smaller countries try to offset their limited size is through organizations with other states, such as in economic unions (e.g., the

European Union) that try to extend the size of the market. As spatial units, states can be lucky or unlucky in their territorial endowment. For example, some have vast oil reserves, while others are landlocked with few available natural resources. A distinction can be made between a state and a nation. A state is a political organization that controls a particular territory. A nation is a community of people with a common identity, shared cultural values, and a commitment and attachment to a particular area. There are nations without states, and most states have more than one nation. The population of a state is rarely homogenous. Differences in religion, ethnicity, and language, if they have distinct spatial expression, can create

tensions in the internal coherence of the state. Chapter Summary A distinction can also be made between government and state. The government is the political expression of power. State is a wider term that covers the more embedded power structures, such as the army, the police, and the educational system. We can identify centripetal forces that unify the states power across space and centrifugal forces that disrupt it. Centripetal forces include external aggression, which may stimulate national bonding against a common enemy; federal structures that allow the safe expression of regional and other subnational differences; and national mass media and

education, which create a shared culture and language. Centrifugal forces include political and economic inequality. A state has a monopoly of legitimate physical force, but in some instances, the rule of the state does not extend to all of its territory, which may lead to a territorial crisis. Chapter Summary The internal territorial integrity of the state is more assured where there is a homogenous population. When marked differences are overlaid by economic inequality and profound cultural differences, there are pressures on the integrity of state control over national space. Political geographers used to make a distinction between artificial and

natural borders, but more recent work tends to view borders as social constructions, the result of bordering practices rather than the embodiment of natural differences. Viewing borders as socio-spatial constructions focuses attention on their origin and evolution and interprets them as stages for the performance of national identity. Three distinct elements can be identified in the geography of elections: those of voting, representation, and electoral systems.

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