GeoCurrents http://www.geocurrents.info Map Illustrated Analyses of Current Events and Geographical Issues Mon, 20 Oct 2014 22:05:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 The New York Times’ Impressive Collection of Iraq/Syria Maps http://www.geocurrents.info/cartography/new-york-times-impressive-collection-iraqsyria-maps http://www.geocurrents.info/cartography/new-york-times-impressive-collection-iraqsyria-maps#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 22:05:08 +0000 http://www.geocurrents.info/?p=11547

As long-time readers of GeoCurrents may have noted, I have rather mixed feelings about the New York Times. I am often critical of Times articles and columnists, and I find the newspaper’s coverage of world events too spotty and incomplete to be satisfying. But I also start off every morning with the print edition, and I can’t imagine doing otherwise. ...

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The Fantasy Political Maps of DeviantART http://www.geocurrents.info/imaginary-geography/fantasy-political-maps-deviantart http://www.geocurrents.info/imaginary-geography/fantasy-political-maps-deviantart#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 20:14:35 +0000 http://www.geocurrents.info/?p=11535

When looking for specific maps on the internet, I often come across bizarre examples, such as a map of Novorossiya that depicts not southeastern Ukraine but rather northwestern North America. This fantasy political map, like many others of its ilk, can be traced back to a website called DeviantART, Inc., described by the Wikipedia as “an online community showcasing various ...

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My Error on Ukraine’s Political Divisions http://www.geocurrents.info/geopolitics/nationalism/error-ukraines-political-divisions http://www.geocurrents.info/geopolitics/nationalism/error-ukraines-political-divisions#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 22:06:29 +0000 http://www.geocurrents.info/?p=11524

Several months ago, I posted an article and a map on GeoCurrents in which I divided Ukraine into a “nationalist” region and a “Russian-oriented” region. In retrospect, it seems that most of the area that I had designated as “Russian-Oriented Ukraine” does not actually fit that category. Despite the fact that a few pro-Russian demonstrations have occurred in a number ...

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Eco-Authoritarian Catastrophism: The Dismal and Deluded Vision of Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway http://www.geocurrents.info/physical-geography/eco-authoritarian-catastrophism-dismal-deluded-vision-naomi-oreskes-erik-m-conway http://www.geocurrents.info/physical-geography/eco-authoritarian-catastrophism-dismal-deluded-vision-naomi-oreskes-erik-m-conway#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 18:36:29 +0000 http://www.geocurrents.info/?p=11504

(Note: The following post strays from the usual geopolitical concerns of GeoCurrents into the realm of environmental politics. It also deviates from the norm in being a polemical review of a particular book. Regular posts will resume shortly.)
As with so many other hot-button debates, the climate change controversy leaves me repelled by the clamoring extremists on both sides. Global-warming denialists, ...

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Is There an Arc of Instability? http://www.geocurrents.info/geopolitics/state-failure/arc-instability http://www.geocurrents.info/geopolitics/state-failure/arc-instability#comments Fri, 03 Oct 2014 22:57:07 +0000 http://www.geocurrents.info/?p=11496

In grappling with the geography of geopolitical conflict, many journalists, politicians, and military strategists use the term “arc of instability,” implying that the world’s troubled countries are arrayed along a curve. But different sources have very different ideas about how such an “arc” is configured. A recent The Wall Street Journal article (“Obama Contends With Arc of Instability Unseen Since ...

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Can We Map State Instability? http://www.geocurrents.info/geopolitics/state-failure/can-map-state-instability http://www.geocurrents.info/geopolitics/state-failure/can-map-state-instability#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 02:28:23 +0000 http://www.geocurrents.info/?p=11486

The previous post showed that the Fragile States Index did not capture the fragility of Syria and Libya on the eve of the so-called Arab Spring. The question is then raised about the performance of other indices of state weakness in this this regard. As it turns out, they did little better.
Consider, for example, the World Bank’s 2010 map of ...

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The Fragility of the State Fragility Index http://www.geocurrents.info/geopolitics/state-failure/fragility-state-fragility-index http://www.geocurrents.info/geopolitics/state-failure/fragility-state-fragility-index#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 17:13:49 +0000 http://www.geocurrents.info/?p=11482

I recently came across a “State Fragility Index Map” from 2010 that made me doubt the usefulness of the index. As a predictive measurement, its failures are obvious. Note that Syria was depicted at the time as a relatively stable state, while Libya was portrayed as quite secure. In the 2010 Index, Syria ranked 48th from the bottom (out of ...

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ISIS Advances and the Kurds Retreat In Northern Syria http://www.geocurrents.info/geopolitics/state-failure/isis-advances-kurds-retreat-northern-syria http://www.geocurrents.info/geopolitics/state-failure/isis-advances-kurds-retreat-northern-syria#comments Sun, 21 Sep 2014 22:26:32 +0000 http://www.geocurrents.info/?p=11472

The struggle involving the Islamic State (alternatively, ISIS or ISIL) in northern and eastern Syria and northern Iraq is finally receiving abundant coverage in the global media. Today’s (Sept. 21) New York Times, for example, features several articles on the issue, focused mostly on the international complications generated by the conflict. Many publications in the U.S., however—including the Times—have either ...

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Future Islamic State Mapping and Computer-Game Cartography http://www.geocurrents.info/geopolitics/self-declared-states-geopolitics/future-islamic-state-mapping-computer-game-cartography http://www.geocurrents.info/geopolitics/self-declared-states-geopolitics/future-islamic-state-mapping-computer-game-cartography#comments Sat, 20 Sep 2014 19:41:47 +0000 http://www.geocurrents.info/?p=11468

As mentioned in the previous post, several maps purporting to show plans for an enlarged caliphate by the Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL) have been circulating on the Internet. The oddest of such maps has ben posted here. As noted by Media Matters, this map “was reported on InfoWars.com, a website run by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, … [and] appears to have originated ...

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The Islamic State’s Aspirational Map? http://www.geocurrents.info/geopolitics/self-declared-states-geopolitics/islamic-states-aspirational-map http://www.geocurrents.info/geopolitics/self-declared-states-geopolitics/islamic-states-aspirational-map#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 17:09:01 +0000 http://www.geocurrents.info/?p=11462

The geopolitical entity that calls itself the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, has generated some interesting maps. Today’s post examines a map that ostensibly shows the area designated for conquest and rule by ISIS leaders. Widely disseminated across the Internet, it evidently originated on Twitter, but its creator remains unknown. Media Matters for America has advanced some ...

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