GeoCurrents http://geocurrents.info Map Illustrated Analyses of Current Events and Geographical Issues Thu, 14 Aug 2014 19:04:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 GeoCurrents Editorial: The Genocide of the Yezidis Begins, and the United States is Complicit http://geocurrents.info/geopolitics/myth-nation-state/geocurrents-editorial-genocide-yezidis-begins-united-states-complicit http://geocurrents.info/geopolitics/myth-nation-state/geocurrents-editorial-genocide-yezidis-begins-united-states-complicit#comments Fri, 08 Aug 2014 01:54:50 +0000 http://geocurrents.info/?p=11436

(Note: GeoCurrents is still technically on summer vacation, allowing me time to catch up with other obligations that I have neglected. My recent essays on eco-modernism, written for the Breakthrough Institute, can be found here and here. I am interrupting this GeoCurrents hiatus, however, to address a highly disturbing and significant development. This post also violates the GeoCurrents policy on ...

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The Californian Insular Myth: Follow the Blue Seashells (Adapted from the work of Annick Foucrier) http://geocurrents.info/historical-geography/californian-insular-myth-follow-blue-seashells-adapted-work-annick-foucrier http://geocurrents.info/historical-geography/californian-insular-myth-follow-blue-seashells-adapted-work-annick-foucrier#comments Sat, 21 Jun 2014 18:19:35 +0000 http://geocurrents.info/?p=11424

(Note:  GeoCurrrents is concerned with all things connected to mapping, including the history of cartography. One particularly interesting and rather mysterious feature of world mapping in the early modern period was the persistent depiction of California as an island. This portrayal is so distinctive is that it has captured the attention of many historians, geographers, and map aficionados. In 2012, ...

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GeoCurrents Summer Vacation http://geocurrents.info/site-news/geocurrents-summer-vacation http://geocurrents.info/site-news/geocurrents-summer-vacation#comments Tue, 10 Jun 2014 21:33:52 +0000 http://geocurrents.info/?p=11420

Dear Readers,
I am sorry to say that GeoCurrents will be taking its annual summer vacation for the next five or six weeks. During this time, several guest posts may be run, but I will not be contributing any posts myself. For the next two weeks, my attention will be focused on grading papers and examinations and on finishing the book manuscript ...

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Does the Boko Haram Insurgency Stem from Environmental Degradation and Climate Change? http://geocurrents.info/geopolitics/insurgencies/boko-haram-insurgency-stem-environmental-degradation-climate-change http://geocurrents.info/geopolitics/insurgencies/boko-haram-insurgency-stem-environmental-degradation-climate-change#comments Thu, 05 Jun 2014 23:14:18 +0000 http://geocurrents.info/?p=11413

Several attempts to explain the extreme violence of Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria focus on resource scarcity, overpopulation, environmental degradation, and especially climate change. A recent article in The Guardian, for example, claims that:
Instability in Nigeria … has been growing steadily over the last decade — and one reason is climate change. In 2009, a UK Department for International Development ...

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Is Poverty the Root Cause of Boko Haram Violence? http://geocurrents.info/geopolitics/insurgencies/poverty-root-cause-boko-haram-violence http://geocurrents.info/geopolitics/insurgencies/poverty-root-cause-boko-haram-violence#comments Mon, 02 Jun 2014 20:36:44 +0000 http://geocurrents.info/?p=11399

The notion that poverty is the main cause of terrorism and insurgency is one of the most contentious ideas in global security studies. Those on the left tend to emphasize the connection between violence and the lack of development, while those on the right tend to deny or at least minimize it.
In recent weeks, this debate has turned to the ...

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Religion, Caste, and Electoral Geography in the Indian State of Kerala http://geocurrents.info/place/south-asia/religion-caste-electoral-geography-indian-state-kerala http://geocurrents.info/place/south-asia/religion-caste-electoral-geography-indian-state-kerala#comments Thu, 29 May 2014 17:55:28 +0000 http://geocurrents.info/?p=11387

As mentioned in a previous GeoCurrents post, India’s southwestern state of Kerala, noted for its high levels of social development, exhibited markedly different patterns in the 2014 election from most other parts of the country. In Kerala, parties on the far left did quite well, as did the center-left Indian National Congress, whereas the center-right BJP performed quite poorly, as ...

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How Big Is the Saudi Economy? Does the World Bank Know? http://geocurrents.info/economic-geography/big-saudi-economy-world-bank-know http://geocurrents.info/economic-geography/big-saudi-economy-world-bank-know#comments Tue, 27 May 2014 00:49:31 +0000 http://www.geocurrents.info/?p=11379

Country-level economic data are essential yet often highly uncertain. In April 2014, for example, the official size of Nigeria’s economy increased 89 percent overnight due to a “rebasing” of economic calculations. According to the International Business Times, “Most countries go through this [rebasing] process every five years or so, but Nigeria hasn’t done it since 1990, years before developments like ...

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The 2014 Indian Election in Kerala and Bihar http://geocurrents.info/place/south-asia/2014-indian-election-kerala-bihar http://geocurrents.info/place/south-asia/2014-indian-election-kerala-bihar#comments Fri, 23 May 2014 21:23:01 +0000 http://www.geocurrents.info/?p=11372

On the 2014 electoral map of India, two states stand out due to their division among many competing parties: Bihar in lower Ganges Valley and Kerala in the southwest. Intriguingly, these states represent the extremes of Indian social development. Bihar has long been noted as the poorest, least educated and most corrupt state in India, although it has made considerable—and ...

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A New Political Bifurcation of India? http://geocurrents.info/place/southeast-asia/new-political-bifurcation-india http://geocurrents.info/place/southeast-asia/new-political-bifurcation-india#comments Wed, 21 May 2014 20:25:48 +0000 http://www.geocurrents.info/?p=11356

As mentioned in the previous GeoCurrents post, the 2014 Indian election reveals a intriguing division across the country, one separating the greater southeast, where regional parties generally prevailed, from the rest of the country, where the BJP generally triumphed. There are, of course, a number of exceptions to this pattern, such as Punjab and much of the far northeast. It ...

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Regional Patterns in India’s 2014 General Election http://geocurrents.info/geopolitics/elections/regional-patterns-indias-2014-general-election http://geocurrents.info/geopolitics/elections/regional-patterns-indias-2014-general-election#comments Mon, 19 May 2014 20:52:28 +0000 http://www.geocurrents.info/?p=11340

The overriding story of India’s 2014 general election is of course the massive triumph of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its leader Narendra Modi, along with the corresponding defeat of the Indian National Congress (INC). The BJP gained 166 seats in the Lok Sabha (Indian parliament) for a total of 282, while the INC lost 162 for a total ...

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