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Articles in Elections

Egypt’s Electoral Geography Revealed

By Martin W. Lewis | March 4, 2012 | 3 Comments
Egyptian Block Vote Map from Electoral Politics 2.0

By Western standards, Cairo is a socially conservative and religiously devout metropolis. By Egyptian standards, however, it is a rather liberal place. Such a position is evident in the electoral maps of Egypt’s 2011 legislative election, recently put on-line by the invaluable website, Electoral Geography 2.0: Mapped Politics. As the first map posted here shows, the secular, center-left party, Egyptian …

The 1980s Geopolitical Transformation of California

By Martin W. Lewis | February 29, 2012 |
California Presidential Election 1960 map from Dave Leip's Atlas

Recent GeoCurrents posts have examined the political allegiances of various parts of California, focusing on Mendocino County. Mendocino today votes strongly for Democratic Party candidates, although not overwhelmingly so, like San Francisco. Voting history places Mendocino squarely in the Democratic camp for many decades, as the county has turned to Republican candidates only in landslide years, such 1972, 1980, and …

Political Complexities and Contradictions in California’s Mendocino County

By Martin W. Lewis | February 27, 2012 | 6 Comments
California 2008 Election Map from Dave Leip's Atlas

A GeoCurrents post last week highlighted the left-wing orientation of Anderson Valley in California’s Mendocino County, while noting that not all residents lean to the left. The same observation holds for Mendocino County as a whole. Recent election returns show roughly one-third of Mendocino voters selecting Republican candidates, including John McCain in the 2008 U.S. presidential election. As the election …

Regionalizing California

By Martin W. Lewis | February 16, 2012 | 6 Comments

With thirty-eight million people spread over an area of 163,696 square miles (423,970 km2) and an economy that would rank between the eighth and eleventh largest in the world if it were an independent country, California makes an unwieldy state. Its different regions are so distinctive culturally, economically, and politically that numerous attempts have been made to divide California into two or more …

Conflict in the Comoros

By Martin W. Lewis | October 28, 2011 | 4 Comments
Wikipedia Map of the Invasion of Anjouan in the Comoros

Although Mayotte is a troubled island, its difficulties are minor compared to those of the other islands in the Comoro Archipelago, which collectively form an independent state. By some accounts, the Comoros is the most coup-wracked country in the world, having suffered twenty military assaults on its government since independence in 1975. Its instability is almost matched by its poverty; …

Red Tripura and the Geopolitics of Greater Bengal

By Martin W. Lewis | June 1, 2011 | 13 Comments
Map of Indian states by party of government, 2011

India’s regional elections in early May 2011 saw the devastating defeat of the far left. After having ruled the 91-million-strong state of West Bengal for thirty-four years, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [abbreviated as CPI(M)] lost 146 seats in the Legislative Assembly, retaining only 42. In what could be an epochal loss, the larger

Ivory Coast: Divided and Reunited

By Martin W. Lewis | May 10, 2011 |
Map of the main political/ethnic blocks in Ivory Coast

According to most reports, Ivory Coast is slowly returning to normal. On May 6, 2011, Alassane Ouattara was sworn into office by Constitutional Council President Paul Yao N’Dre, a close associate of deposed leader Laurent Gbagbo. N’Dre, not surprisingly, called for national reconciliation. Although he was heckled at times, the event generally proceeded smoothly. A

Electoral Politics and Religious Strife in Nigeria

By Martin W. Lewis | May 5, 2011 |
Map of Nigeria's 2011 Presidential Election

For the past week, GeoCurrents has demonstrated that the conflict in Ivory Coast cannot be reduced to a simple north/south, Muslim/Christian split. This kind of broad cleavage is more apparent in Nigeria, as shown by its recent election. But even in Nigeria, the contrast between a Muslim north and a Christian south is not as

Ethnic Dimensions of the Conflict in Ivory Coast

By Martin W. Lewis | April 28, 2011 | 3 Comments
Map of Ethnic Groups in Ivory Coast

Careful map analysis reveals that the conflict in Ivory Coast cannot be reduced to a split between the Muslim north and Christian south, as is routinely suggested in the press. But it is structured around ethnic differences that have religious aspects. Today’s post seeks to demonstrate the struggle’s cultural parameters by comparing maps of electoral

Disparate Interpretations—and Misinterpretations—of the Conflict in Ivory Coast

By Martin W. Lewis | April 25, 2011 | 5 Comments
Map of the Division of Ivory Coast in 2007

Understandings of the recent conflict in Ivory Coast (officially, Republic of Côte d’Ivoire) vary significantly among different sectors of the news media. Mainstream sources in the United States often mention the Ivorian Civil War of 2002-07 that effectively divided the country in two (see map), but they focus primarily on the presidential election of 2010

Extremism and Voting Behavior in South Punjab, Pakistan

By Martin W. Lewis | August 11, 2010 | One Comment

The culturally and linguistically distinctive southern half of Pakistani Punjab is, as noted yesterday, a hotbed of Islamist radicalism. According to Bill Roggio, “South Punjab teems with radical mosques and madrassas, which are used to indoctrinate Pakistani youths to join the jihad. Tens of thousands of members of these terror groups who have gone

Election Controversies and Ethnic Complexities on the Not-So-Tiny Island of Bougainville

By Martin W. Lewis | June 23, 2010 |

In June 2010, the Autonomous Region of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea (PNG) voted out three quarters of its parliamentary representatives along with its president. Whereas the outgoing leader was a former revolutionary committed to independence, the newly elected chief executive favors continuing ties with PNG. Most sources, however, do not see a loss of

The Geography of the Chilean Election

By Martin W. Lewis | February 1, 2010 | One Comment

As last Friday’s post noted, recent elections in Chile and Bolivia produced markedly different results. In Bolivia, socialist president Evo Morales was reelected in a landslide, whereas in Chile the center-left coalition that had run the country for more than two decades lost power to the center-right. Although Chile’s out-going president Michelle Bachelet remained extremely

The Geography of the Bolivian Election

By Martin W. Lewis | January 29, 2010 |

Latin American electoral politics have been trending to the left in recent years. Although Chile just confounded that tendency by voting in a center-right president, Bolivia overwhelmingly reelected its socialist president, Evo Morales, in December 2009. Morales, the champion of Bolivia’s indigenous majority, received 64 percent of the national vote, while his main challenger, Manfred

Language and Voting In Romania

By Martin W. Lewis | January 6, 2010 | One Comment

As the previous post indicated, many Hungarian-populated areas lie outside of Hungary’s national borders. More than half of Hungary’s territory was stripped away in the post-WWI settlement, although most of the areas lost had non-Hungarian majorities. Hard-core Magyar (or Hungarian) nationalists who dream of reclaiming these lands often advertise their views by displaying maps of

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