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political geography


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The study of the geographical and spatial aspects of politics; the spatial expression of political ideals and the consequences of decision-making by a political entity. Of particular interest are the geographical factors which influence voting patterns; for example, Morrill et al. (2007) Pol. Geog. 26, 5 on the red (conservative/republican) and blue (liberal/democrat) divide in the United States, or Buhaug (2006) Pol. Geog. 25, 3 on local determinants of African civil wars. M. Castells (2000) concludes that power ‘is no longer concentrated in institutions (the state), organizations (capitalist firms), or symbolic controllers (corporate media, churches).…Power, as such, is the fulcrum of identity.’ Agnew (2005) AAAG95, 2 agrees: ‘we cannot meaningfully apply the orthodox conception of sovereignty to the conditional exercise of relative, limited, and partial powers that local, regional, national, international, and non-territorial communities and actors now exert.’ However, Houston (2005) Pol. Geog. 24, 1, writing on Turkey, finds that the production and signification of space by the nation-state is not cancelled out by the global logic of capital. For clear reviews, see Sparke: (2004) PHG28, 6; (2006) PHG30, 3; (2008) PHG32, 3.

Studies on quantitative methodologies and spatial analyses based on GIS include Buhaug and Lujala (2005) Pol. Geog. 24, 4, who find that the relation of a conflict affects its duration. For critical, feminist, and popular geopolitics, see Hyndman (2004) Pol. Geog. 23, 3; for peace and conflict studies, see Sene (2004) African Gepopol. 15–16, on the federating role of soccer, and territoriality.

Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography.


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