International Geographical Union
Commission on Political Geography
NEWSLETTER 2 (April
IGU Commission on Political Geography, 2000-2004
Chair: Professor Vladimir Kolossov, Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences, Staromonetny per. 29, 109017 Moscow, Russia. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice-Chair: Professor André-Louis Sanguin, Institute of Geography, University of Paris-Sorbonne, 191 rue Saint-Jacques, 75005 Paris, France. Email: email@example.com
The Commission has 410 members from 50 countries:
Africa: Bostwana, Gabon, Egypt, South Africa, Zambia
America: Brazil, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Mexico, USA, Venezuela
Asia: China, India, Iran, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Pakistan, Singapore
Australia and Oceania: Australia, New Zealand
Europe: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia-Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UK
I. Chairman's Column
Dear friends and colleagues, The events of 2002 showed that all form of regionalism and borders remain in the focus of the social sciences. International conferences, research projects and initiatives are driven by transnational epistemic communities emerging as a result of adaptation of national and regional academic and political groups to globalization and to internationalization and transformation of academic knowledge. Our Commission and neighbouring academic and expert groups (for instance, BRIT) are a good example of such a community. Post-modernism makes the notion of region, borders and other categories of political geography flexible, soft. It is assumed that they can be adapted to concrete needs and interpreted in different ways. In the continuing rapprochement between political geography and geopolitics, geopolitical narratives and discourses of power being developed under the influence of geopolitical culture play a key role. It changes, in particular, the paradigm of border studies, which are to a growing extent based on the notion of soft security, on the ideas about global networking and transformation of spaces of places into spaces of flows. The formation of these new spaces does not mean, however, that the states are not deeply implicated in processes of globalization: the world's mosaic is being created by interaction between old and new actors. I am glad that the objectives of our Commission 2000-2004 (see the previous Newsletter) and our agenda match these developments.
Vladimir Kolossov, Chair
II. Future Events Sponsored by the Commission
1. International Conference on Urban Geopolitics, Libreville, Gabon, May 6-10, 2003. Organizers: Omar Bongo University, Libreville (Gabon) and University of Metz (France) in collaboration with University of Ottawa (Canada) and Joseph Fourier University, Grenoble (France). Urban space is a result of numerous political, economic and cultural decisions and of the activity of more or less informed and mobilized citizens. Decision-makers are most often guided by divergent and conflictual interests. The issue of urban conflicts whose depends on their unequal political and economic power. They develop different strategies in order to appropriate, occupy, control and defend the territory and to influence the provision and the localization of services and urban policy. It is proposed, first, to discuss the experience of research and the role of geography in theory and practice of urban policy; second, to compare political developments of urban agglomerations in different parts of the world; third, to consider the following concrete problems: 1/ Municipal reforms and geopolitical issues in the administrative-territorial division of urban areas; 2/ Urban environment: geopolitical issues of ressources and risks; 4/ Territorial planning and infrastructure: options and strategies; 5/ Identity and competitiveness of large cities in the world political play; 6/ Images and representations: the construction of symbolic space.
Three days of sessions will be followed by a two-days field excursion in the triangle Libreville-Lambaréné-Port Gentil (information on its cost will be provided later). More details can be found on the site www.gabon.uottawa.ca. Contacts: from Europe: Prof. François Hulbert at firstname.lastname@example.org, fax **33-3-87-31-59-70; from Africa: Dr. Jules Djeki at email@example.com; from North America: Prof. Daniel Lagarec at firstname.lastname@example.org, fax **1-613-562-5145; from South America, Asia and Oceania: Prof. Martin Vanier at email@example.com, fax **33-4-76-82-20-01.
2. International Conference "Political Geography and Geopolitics: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow", Moscow, Russia, June 1-7, 2003. Co-sponsored with the IGU Commission on History of Geographical Thought. Scientific program: I- Political geography and geopolitics: unity in diversity (modern theoretical issues). 1/ Territorial and political organization of society as the basis of political geography. 2/ Globalization and glocalization: the unity of political-geographical and geopolitical processes. 3/ The question of scale in political geography and the concept of place. 4/ Political science, international relations, political geography and geopolitics: their places among social sciences. II- Geopolitics I: international relations and the world geopolitical vision (the view from above). 1/ Postmodernist approaches in geopolitics: the geopolitical world order or chaos. 2/ The crisis of the Westphalian system and modern geopolitical challenges. 3/ Geopolitics and security: the new principles of international interaction. 4/ The realities of globalization: geopolitics versus geoeconomics?. 5/ The cultural foundations of geopolitics. 6/ The world after September 11: illusions and reality. 7/ Small states in the conditions of globalization. III- Geopolitics II: geopolitical images and identity (the view from below). 1/ Sociology of geopolitics: geopolitical images of the world in public opinion and in the opinion of experts (low and high geopolitics). 2/ Geopolitics and the system of education: the role of secondary and higher educational institutions in shaping geopolitical images of the world. 3/ The geopolitical role of mass media. 4/ The construction of space. The role of discourse in shaping the political map at different territorial levels. 5/ Geopolitical macroregions as social constructs. IV- Globalization and new identities. Political geography, the process of territorial integration and disintegration and the modern methods of studying borders. 1/ Identity, security and borders: local, regional, national and global levels. 2/ State borders as a part of the world system of borders, the regime and the functions of borders. 3/ State building and borders on the post-Soviet territories. 4/ Cross-border policy and cooperation: modern challenges and new ideas. 5/ Transborder regions: experience and prospects.
Conference organizers: Prof. Vladimir Kolossov (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Ass. Prof. Vladimir Gorbanyov (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org). Secretariat: Dr. Nadezhda Borodulina (email@example.com) and Mr. Boris Bykov (firstname.lastname@example.org). Registration: before March 1, 2003: US$200 (students: $50), March-April 2003: US$250 (students: $100). Excursions: Moscow (during the conference) and Rostov-the Great and Jaroslavl, historical towns of Central Russia (June 5-6, the all-inclusive cost: US$100).
3. The Third Polish-Romanian International Seminar on Political Geography "Central and Eastern Europe Before Enlargement of European Union and NATO", Gdansk-Hel, Poland, September 1-3, 2003. Programme: 1/ Territorial and political organization of society as the basis of political geography. 2/ Political science, international relations, political geography and geopolitics: their place among social sciences. 3/ Re-definition on East, Central Europe and South-Eastern Europe region. 4/ Political geography: the processes of territorial integration and disintegration at Central and South-Eastern Europe before enlargement of NATO. 5/ Role of new members and European security after enlargement of NATO. 6/ New European borders: local, regional and national levels. 7/ Cross-border policy and cooperation at Central, South-East and East Europe regions.
The proceedings will be published in Romania as a special issue of Revista Romana de Geografie Politica and also in Poland. Organizers: Dr. Jan Wendt at email@example.com and Dr. Alexandru Ilies at firstname.lastname@example.org. Secretary: Dr. Tomasz Michalski at email@example.com. Abstract submission deadline: March 31, 2003. Abstract should be written in English, no more than 1800 words. Fee covers two nights at Hel, dinners, coffees, conference materials and cost of travel from Gdansk to Hel and back. Conference fees: 75 euros or 300 Polish zlotys (students 50%). Correspondence, registration and information: Dr. Jan Wendt, Department of Geography of Regional Development, University of Gdansk, Al. Pilsudskiego 46, 81378 Gdynia, Poland.
4. International Conference "Globalized Europe", Koper/Capodistria, Slovenia, June 3-5, 2004. Sub-themes: 1/ European Union versus World. 2/ Unified and divided Europe. 3/ Globalization within the European space. 4/ Democracy versus Market Economy. 5/ War, terrorism and tourism. 6/ European Electoral Geography. 7/ The European Federation and its State's Sovereignty. 8/ The geography of Brussels financial subsidies. 9/ Changing tapestries of European cultures due to migration. 10/ The post-Soviet iconographies. 11/ The Balkan protectorates. 12/ The past and present Schengen's border areas.
Fees: US$150. An optional one-week post-conference excursion is planned: Koper-Ljubljana-Zagreb-Sarajevo-Mostar-Medjugorje-Dubrovnik-Split-Rijeka-Koper-Ljubljana (bus-boat; the all-inclusive cost is estimated US$600). Organizer: Prof. Anton Gosar, Dean, Faculty of Humanities, University of Koper, Glagoljaska 8, 6000 Koper, Slovenia. Tel. **386-5-663-77-44. Fax: **386-5-663-77-42. Email: Anton.Gosar@guest.arnes.si
5. XXXth IGU International Congress "One Earth, Many Worlds", Glasgow, UK, August 2004. General themes: Geography and sustainability; Environmental innovation; Global trends and local challenges; Ressource and hazard management; Environmental sensitivity. Communication and diversity; Implications of the knowledge economy.
III - Other Future Events
1. The Border Regions in Transition (BRIT) VIth International Conference "Regionalization, EU's Enlargement and Shifting Borders of Inclusion and Exclusion", Pécs-Béckéscsaba-Debrecen, Hungary, September 21-27, 2003. This conference is held only a few months before the first round of EU's enlargement eastward is scheduled to go ahead. This will have important consequences for border cities and cross-border interaction as more restrictive visa and border-control formalities take effect. At the same time, the enlargement process is unfolding as the EU itself is seeking a clearer foreign and security policy profile. The conference encourages theoretical, empirical and practical discussion on borders, border regions and geopolitics. It will focus, in particular, on the following questions: 1/ Scrutinizing the new regionalism: the second great transition?; 2/ The present global geopolitical scene; 3/ Geopolitics of EU's enlargement; 4/ Northern and other dimensionalities of the EU; 5/ Enlargement and its impacts on external/internal borders of the EU; 6/ Border areas case studies I: environment, economics, minorities and other governance issues; 7/ Border areas case studies II: sociologies of cross-border interaction.
There will also be a special session devoted to the EXLINEA research project, funded by the European Union. This conference is conceived as a travelling event and will begin in the Transdanubian city of Pécs. Then, it will travel on through Croatia and Serbia to Béckéscsaba in Hungary's Great Plain Region. After an excursion that will take the group through Romania, BRIT VI will hold its final panels sessions in the East Hungarian city of Debrecen. The conference will close with an excursion to the Ukrainian borderlands or another nearby area.
The total all-inclusive cost of the conference is estimated at present to be around 350 euros. Send abstracts and panel suggestions to Imre Nagy at firstname.lastname@example.org (Center for Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 199, 7601 Pécs, Hungary).
2. International Conference "Territorial Administration and Public
Policy: Restructuring of Big Governments, Welfare State Aspirations and
Local Economies", Prague, Czech Republic, September 19-20, 2003. This
conference is organized by the IGU Commission on Public Policy, and its
aim is to address issues of current territorial administration and public
policy at a wider context of societal organization at local, regional,
national and supranational levels. Democratic local and regional governments
represent more integral aspirations and interests formations and provide
integral frameworks for economic and other corporate actors and citizens.
By examining the relations between, on the one hand, basic principles of
territorial self-government, administration and governance and, on the
other hand, geographical structuration and the role of public authorities,
civil society and economy, the conference can contribute to our better
understanding of current issues of territorial administration and public
policy and continuing need for restructuring of big governments, welfare
state aspirations and local economies.
3. The Research Committee on Political Geography of the IPSA (International Political Science Association) is planning three geography-related panels during the 19th IPSA World Congress in Durban, South Africa, June 29-July 4, 2003 (see details on http://ipsa.ca/congress): 1/ The territorial foundations of democracy - with some references, in light of current developments, to Jean Gottmann's The Significance of Territory; 2/ Maps and reconstructions of the past - with some reference to nationalism, tribalism, ethnicity, as manifested in the Balkans, Southern Africa, and elsewhere in the world; 3/ The geography of war and peace - on the geographical and spatial aspects of conflict and the resolution thereof, including diplomacy.
The panels are currently being organized by the IPSA Research Committee on Political Geography co-chaired by Prof. Georges Prevelakis (University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne) at email@example.com and by Prof. Alan Henrikson (Tufts University) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. International Conference "Border Regions in Transition: Crossing
Disciplines, Crossing Scales, Crossing Regions", Beer Sheva, Israel, 5-12
January 2004. Organized by the Department of Geography and the Department
of Politics and Governement, Ben Gurion University of the Negev. All informations
available on www.bgu.ac.il/politics/conf/brit.htm
IV - Past Events Sponsored by the Commission
1. International Workshop "Rights to the City", Rome, Home of the Geography, Villa Celimontana, May 29-June 1, 2002. The conference was sponsored by two IGU Commissions (Political Geography and Public Policy) and was organized by Lynn Staeheli, Doris Wastl-Walter and Lorraine Dowler. Armando Montanari, Tania Lines and Flavia Cristaldi provided local arrangements. Fifty participants from 10 countries and 12 disciplines were involved with the conference; twenty-one participants were postgraduate students.
Taking its lead from the writings of Henri Lefebvre, conference papers explored the changing geographies of the city in response to globalization, and the processes of marginalization and centrality that are emerging. Papers addressed a range of topics and blended theory with empirical work; many of the papers had direct implications for public policy. Papers addressed the following themes: theoretical perspectives on rights and justice; emerging geographies of inclusion and exclusion; structures of governance, policy and finance; the roles of property rights and regimes in creating new spaces in the city; the politics of mobility and access; spaces of representation; public space and design; and grassroots political strategies in response to the changing geographies of the city.
The Home of Geography provides a wonderful venue for IGU conferences. The highlights of the conference include the Home of Geography itself and a one-day field excursion exploring the social geography of Rome. It was organized by Professor Flavia Cristaldi and featured the research of several students working with her at the University of Rome-La Sapienza. Papers from the conference will be published through a volume of proceedings that will be made at no charge to libraries and scholars who are members of the IGU and through a double issue of GeoJournal.
Lynn Staeheli, University of Colorado at Boulder
Petra Horinova, Charles University, Prague
F. Eva proposed some criteria and presented a general picture of the so-called geopolitical world order, making an attempt to show its hierarchical structure. N. Kliot examined the impact of the September 11th attack on the physical structures and social organization of the world's cities. M. Ramutsindela presented a preliminary analysis of different views on the African Union, especially in light of the initiative of the Libyan leader Ghadafy. A. Christopher analysed different ways and results of the decolonization process, considering also the kinds of relationships with the former colonies. R. Paddison analysed the changing way to imagine and to present a national identity during the process of federalization of an already existing state. Pienaar showed a series of interesting maps reflecting various proposals to reform the political-administrative division of South Africa made by Afrikaner associations in order to create an Afrikaaner-speaking independent or autonomous state. S. Adhikari considered the evolution of the Indian raison d'être and the state idea during 50 years. X.M. Santos Solla, L. Gonzales, F. Gonzales Sanchez focused their attention to the EU policy towards fishery in international waters and its results. P. Goheen spoke about the Canadian experience in the development of democratic participation in the management of public space. E. Deliry Antheaume and B. Antheaume made a presentation about symbolic geographical representations on Africa in graffities in the South-African cities.
Unfortunately, the rooms suggested by organizers for the sessions of the Commission on Political Geography were too small (25-30 seats), and some colleagues had to stand, to seat on the floor or to remain out of the door. But it was a sign of the interest to the work. Accomodation in Durban was very comfortable, and the conference was well organized, even if participants were concerned with the difficult social situation in the city after the sunset. But they had also an opportunity to feel problems of transition to a post-colonial and post-apartheid regime. Political geography has a huge range of topics, and several papers presented at other sessions could be considered as political-geographical. It could provide a basis for inter-disciplinary geographical debates. South African colleagues wrote interesting papers on the current situation in the country and its cities. Some of them are personally involved in the events as activists or experts.
Fabrizio Eva, University of Milan
V - Other Past Events
1. The Second Polish-Romanian International Seminar on Political Geography "Central and Eastern Europe: Past, Present and Perspectives", Oradea, Romania, May 9-11, 2002. The regular conferences organized by Romanian and Polish geographers from the University of Oradea (Dr. Alexandru Ilies) and the University of Gdansk (Dr. Jan Wendt) are a good sign of interest paid to political geography in Central and Eastern Europe and a significant contribution to the development of our discipline. Of course, they consider not only regional but also theoretical problems, and the meetings are open: beside scholars from most countries of the region, the conference in Oradea was attended by geographers from Canada, Germany, France, Iran, Italy and Turkey - altogether by about 100 participants from 13 countries. The papers submitted to the conference will be published in English and French in the Revista Romana de Geografie Politica, also in Central and Eastern European Review of Political Geography, and in separate publications. The numerous presentations can be divided by five large topics: 1/ Geopolitical problems of European integration and transition, the place of Central and Eastern Europe as a whole and of its separate countries in the contemporary world; 2/ Geopolitical images and representations; 3/ Boundaries and border cooperation; 4/ Minorities (Germans, Hungarians, Jews, Poles, Romanians...) and democratic participation; 5/ Regionalization and decentralization in the context of the new European architecture. As always, such events have an important "human" side. Every participant remembers with very warm feelings new acquaintances, the party in mountains and dances around a big fire, the excursion to the small town of Beius and to the magnificent Bears Cave, the hospitable and friendly atmosphere of the meeting in general. The conference was a brilliant opportunity for the participants to learn more about Transylvania, a unique multicultural region of Europe.
VI - Networking
a. Collaboration with other IGU Commissions and Task Forces
VII - News from the IGU
The IGU General Assembly held during the Regional Conference in Durban (August 2002) has decided, in particular, that there would be no distinction between Commissions and Study Groups. Hence, all former Study Groups have been transformed in Commissions. The Task Forces have been retained as temporary groups to be created ad hoc for special problems to be studied. The former "Full Members" of the Commission now make up the Steering Committee, and the "Corresponding Members" have become Members.
Our Commission was one of the first to use the IGU Home of Geography
in Villa Celimontana in Rome as the venue for a workshop. The Home of Geography
accomodates the IGU Library and archives and publishes a Newsletter, available
in English and French on www.homeofgeography.org. In the sixth newsletter,
published on October 31, 2002, attention is drawn to the nex publication
series, the first two volumes of which have appeared: 1/ Human Mobility
in A Borderless World; 2/ Food and Environment: Geographies of Taste. Please,
use the Home of Geography homepage to keep informed about IGU matters.
VIII - New Titles in Political Geography
AGNEW, John, Making Political Geography, London, Arnold, 2002, 208 p.
AGNEW, J., MITCHELL, K. and G. TOAL (eds.), A Companion to Political Geography, Oxford, Blackwell, 2003.
BATS, Judy and Kataryna WOLCZUK (eds.), Region, State and Identity in Central and Eastern Europe, London, Frank Cass, 2002, 222 p.
BLACKSELL, Mark, Political Geography, London, Routledge, 2003.
BUFON, Milan, Confini, identità ed integrazione, Nuove prospettive per l'Alto Adriatico, Trieste, Slori, 2002, 262 p.
COHEN, Saul, Geopolitics of the World System, Boulder, Rowman & Littefield, 2002.
COX, Kevin, Political Geography, Territory, State and Society, Oxford, Blackwell Publishers, 2002, 382 p.
GILBERT, Martin, The Routledge Atlas of the Holocaust, London, Routledge, 2002, 282 p.
GOSAR, Anton (ed.), Political Geography in the 21st Century, Understanding the Place - Looking Ahead, Geographica Slovenica, 2001, vol. 34, 280 p. (Proceedings of the Gorizia-Portoroz Political Geography International Conference, May 2000).
KAPLAN, David and Jouni HAKLI, Boundaries and Place: European Borderlands in Geographical Context, Lanham, Rowman & Littlefield, 2002.
KOLOSSOV, Vladimir (ed.), The World in the Eyes of Russian Citizens: Myths and Foreign Policy, Moscow, FOM, 2003 (in Russian)
KOTER, Marek and Krystian HEFFNER (eds.), Changing Role of Border Areas and Regional Policies, Lodz, University of Lodz Press, 2001, 258 p., ISBN 83-7126-147-0.
LEWIS, Patsy, Surviving Small Size: Regional Integration in Caribbean Ministates, Mona, University of the West Indies Press, 2002, 278 and 11 p.
MONMONNIER, Mark, Spying with Maps: Surveillance Technologies and the Future of Privacy, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2002, 239 and 10 p.
ROSIERE, Stéphane, Géographie politique et géopolitique. Une grammaire de l'espace politique, Paris, Ellipses, 2003, 320 p.
SANGUIN, André-Louis and Petra HORINOVA, "Les Eurorégions tchéco-slovaques ou la coopération sur la plus jeune frontière d'Europe", Mosella, 2002, vol. 27, n° 1-2, pp. 39-49.
SCAINI, Maurizio, Israele-Palestina, il conflitto irrisolto, Milano, Edizioni Unicopli, 2002, 350 p.
SCHOFIELD, Clive (and coll.), The Razor's Edge, International Boundaries and Political Geography, Dordrecht, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2002.
SQUARCINA, Enrico and Elena DELL'AGNESE, Geopolitica dei Balcani. Luogi, narrazioni, percorsi, Milano, Edizioni Unicopli, 2002, 312 p.
STEINBERG, Philip E., The Social Construction of the Ocean, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2001.
WENDT, Jan and Alexandru ILIES (eds.), Chosen Problems of Political Geography in Central Europe, Gdansk, Gdansk University Press, 2001, 136 p., ISBN 973-7326-048-X.
This newsletter has been shaped and published at the Sorbonne (Paris) by Prof. André-Louis SANGUIN, Vice-Chair of the Commission.
IGU-CPG Website: www.cas.muohio.edu/igu-cpg
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updated: January 1, 2004 (October 4, 2006)