Relationship Of Geographic And International Relations Politics
"The political divisions are the raison d'être of international relations; the variety of the different part of the earth's surface is the raison d'être of geography". Available at: http://www.jstor.org/pss/2008950
Societies are built upon common factors as religion, customs and culture in general. A state is the association of people with common interests under a faction of laws; those factors assembled in a unit build up the state, which depends also majorly on a geographical matter of distribution. Given the fact that International relations represent the study of foreign affairs and global issues among states within the international system, and geography is the science that studies the relation between the earth and its characteristics, one could not set those two studies apart. As a matter of fact, it can be established that International Relations depend on great measure on geographical studies.
"Geography plays a role in international relations. It shapes attitudes and constrains policy decisions. It is a fundamental component of a state's national character. It is a permanent feature that has influence on man's interactions." (Geography as a Diagnostic Tool in International Relations, Available at: http://www.allacademic.com//meta/p_mla_apa_ research_citation/2/5/1/4/7/pages251470/p251470-1.php). Once a state is created, with its borders established and laws to follow, it has to consider its existence in a larger scene and consider the fact that around it there are multiple other states with different customs, values and beliefs with which at some point it will have to relate and throughout history the land distribution has set the basis for international relations to happen.
Throughout history the land distribution has set the basis for international relations to happen. On a first historical moment because of land distribution, and then because of economic matters.
Historically, one moment that set an important point in international relations was the European colonialism. Its expansion to Africa was set by a series of occupation movements from the powerful European countries into Africa and the rest of the world; nevertheless, these forged relations between countries were set on an economical basis, given the interest on geographical regions on the continent and how to make profit of those zones. The division of the continent was made through a series of international agreements by which England, France, Germany and the countries that made a part of the colonial process got the pieces of land they wanted. Even if these agreements set the model for international relations to happen, it was behind of what they should have taken in prospective.
The historical moment previously described is one in which such relations were spawned from economical interests, due to the fact that the creation of colonial empires was the ultimate goal. Geography, in this particular moment, meant the attainment of political power worldwide. Geographical position an territories meant economical and political power over other nations, but the in this scenario "Little attention is given to the spatial context, both local and regional, in which interstate relations take place (Both spatial dependence and spatial heterogeneity are strongly present in the African data and future study of African international relations should carefully examine their geographical context)". Available at: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a789389163. Afterwards came independence for every African nation subject of the European control, because there were just social and cultural institutions that could not be held under a foreign government.
The case of Yugoslavia is one in which one can see the importance of geographical factors in politics. The kingdom of Yugoslavia was created under the idea of "political union" for all south Slavic nations under the control of a King. These nations were united by geographical guidelines in a single empire because of political interests. After WWI the state of Croatia, supported by the fascist Italy and nazi Germany proclaimed itself as an independent regime, but even though the agreement was that it would remain a part of Yugoslavia, Croatia was making an independent name for itself in international relations. Croatia was only the first example of what would happen later. Right after WWII the Yugoslavian empire fell apart: the nation was created upon other cultures; from the Yugoslavian Empire six new states were born: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, Macedonia and Slovenia. Why did this happen? What seemed to be a strategic country for political operations during and after the Great War, was the congregation of many countries within the borders of the country. The relations within these nations were nothing but problematic since they were constrained under one flag and one group of politics in which the cultural differences were not taken as a main problem.
"In the post-Cold War world, the competition and restraint of the bipolar Cold War are both gone, giving rise to two opposing forces: the unifying force of globalization and the fragmenting impact of nationalism and geographic conflict. In the current international system, these two forces are confronted in different ways by three types of states, each with its own priorities and place for geography.
For high technology, or twenty-first century states, the focus is on globalization and disputes cannot be solved by territorial acquisition. For nationalistic, or nineteenth century states, nationalist hostilities still predominate and gaining land is often still more important than wealth." Available at: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a783200060.
Nowadays the study of international relations is driven by geopolitical studies: the formation of societies in determined geographical zones and their consequential customs due to the territory they're in. In the building of societies the neighbor factor is an important one, because it dictates how to act regarding other states. But now that nationalism created wars seem less likely than before relations have to be established according to human and social pillars. International organizations, even if they try to even things out for every single nation around the world, have to take in consideration that every single nation has individuality in front of others. There are some ways established in which countries should act in front of others, whether it is regarding economy or politics, but that regulation doesn't tend to control geographical areas per se. Globalization is a force that unites the whole world in one, creating a global culture of consumption and with global values that have been taking a stronger position as years pass by. In this eagerness for a global culture, geographical individualities haven't been left aside like before. As a matter of fact, they have taken their places in economical and political agreements between countries all over the modern age.
"One of the trends of globalization is depoliticization of publics, the decline of the nation-state, and end of traditional politics. What is happening is that changes in technology and work relationships are moving too quickly for cultures to respond. Social, legal, and cultural safeguards, the result of people's efforts to defend the common good, are vitally necessary if individuals and intermediary groups are to maintain their centrality." Available at: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article /38878/how_globalization_is_transforming_international_pg3.html?cat=3. Even if Globalization makes an effort to make the world the same, social individualities must remain immune to these changes, because even if they have to face changes, their cultural pillars will remain underneath and as basis of their lives.
Geography has its places in international relations studies because it is what drives them. There can't be any relations between other countries without thinking in each one as a whole. Nations are built upon geographical foundations because that's what gives a nation an identity of its own. Therefore, there cannot be international relations between countries without geography: the raison d'être of political divisions is geography, and geography is then the raison d'être of international relations.
Article name: Relationship Of Geographic And International Relations Politics essay, research paper, dissertation