International Geographical Union
Commission on Political Geography
NEWSLETTER 3 (June 2004)
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
Webmaster : Asst. Prof. Carl T.Dahlman, Department of Geography, University of South Carolina, Columbia SC 29208, USA. E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
I – Chairman’s Column
Dear friends and colleagues,
The fifth four-years mandate of our Commission
is close to its end. Though the first political-geographical unit (a study
group) was created in IGU on the initiative of a group of British
and American geographers as early as in 1984, under the present name the
Commission exists since 2000. Since the 29th IGC in Korea, the Commission
organized 11 meetings, including the conference scheduled in early June
2004 in Slovenia and the workshop before the 30th IGC planned in Durham
(UK) and a number of sessions at the main Congress. Most of them result
in publication of a monograph, proceedings or special issues of academic
Vladimir Kolossov, Chair
II - Future Events Sponsored by the Commission
1. International Conference “Globalized Europe”. Koper - Capodistria, Slovenia, June 3-5, 2003. Organizer: Anton Gosar. Preliminary programme:
June 2, 2004. Koper - Capodistria (University of Primorska)
June 3, 2004. Koper - Capodistria
June 4, 2004
June 5, 2004
2. XXX International Geographical Congress “ One Earth - Many Worlds ”, Glasgow, UK, 15-22 August 2004.
A - Pre-Congress Workshop of the Commission at the University of Durham: “Ordering the World: Political Geographies of War and Peace”. 12-15 August, 2004. Organizer: Luiza Bialasiewicz, Department of Geography, University of Durham, South Road, Durham, DH1 3LE, UK. E-mail: IGUemail@example.com. Preliminary Programme:
B- At the main Congress in Glasgow: three joint
sessions (12 time units of 80 minutes each) co-sponsored with the Commissions
on Geography and Public Policy and on Evolving Issues of Geographical Marginality.
The Commission on Political Geography is responsible for the sessions:
3. The Second International conference “Mountain Countries: Population, Geopolitics, GIS Monitoring”. Organized by the IGU Commission on Political Geography, Stavropol State University, Institute of Geography of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Stavropol - Dombai, Russia, 12-17 September 2005. The main objective of the conference is an interdisciplinary analysis of the relationship between demographic shifts, the socio-economic dynamics and political situation in mountain regions. A special attention will be paid to comparative studies of areas of ethnic conflicts and, in particular, to Caucasus, and to the use of GIS methods in monitoring and the analysis of the situation in these territories.The Conference is held, first, in the development of ideas and in continuation of discussions at the first Conference organized under the same name in Stavropol exactly four years before. Respectively, the Second Conference is organized precisely in four years after the events of 9/11, which dramatically changed the geopolitical situation in the world and in many regions, including Caucasus and the Balkans. Second, taking into account that there are very few integral studies of mountain regions separated by political boundaries, the Conference it focuses on international comparative studies. Third, the Conference is destined to stimulate such studies in commemorizing the 30th anniversary of the first international project in this field, “Alps – Caucasus” (USSR – France). It is planned to discuss the following questions.
Part 1. Demographic and socio-economic processes and geopolitical
shifts in mountain regions.
Part 2. Comparative studies of Caucasus and other mountain regions
under contemporary geopolitical conditions.
Round table. Balkans – Caucasus: Lessons for the Future.
The deadline for applications is 31 January 2005. Abstracts should be submitted to both organizers before 15 April 2005. The fee will include the transfers to and from the airports, the materials of the conference and the full cost of the excursion; it is estimated in 150-180 dollars. The air fare from Moscow to Stavropol and from Mineralnye Vody to Moscow is about 260 dollars.
III - Other Future Events
1 – The 9th Lodz Political Geography International Conference “The Role of Borderlands in United Europe”. Wigry (Poland) and Vistitis (Lithuania), September 15-17, 2004. The organizers intend to discuss the following problems:
1/ Borderlands as areas stimulating integration processes
The theme of the conference is connected with its location as, traditionally, conferences organized by the Department of Political Geography at University of Lodz (Poland). Therefore, the meeting will be held at Wigry and Visitis on both sides of the Polish-Lithuanian border in a new borderland at the convergence of Polish, Russian and Lithuanian borders.
The participants are kindly requested to send a A4 sized one page’s abstract till April 30th, 2004. All papers presented at the conference and accepted by editors will be published in the next volume of Region and Regionalism n° 7. The conference fee is €300. Organizers: Prof. Marek Koter and Marek Sobczynski (University of Lodz), prof. Krystian Heffner (Silesian Institute in Opole), prof. Ricardas Baubinas (University of Vilnius). E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
IV - Past Events Sponsored by the Commission
1. International Conference “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 University Joseph-Fourier, Grenoble (France). The participants discussed, first, the role of geography in theory and practice of urban policy, second, political developments in urban agglomerations in different parts of the world. Third, they considered the following concrete problems: 1) municipal reforms and geopolitical issues in the administrative-territorial division of urban areas; 2) urban environment: geopolitical issues of resources and risks; 3) local governments, actors and citizens: urban conflicts and balance of forces; 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.
It was shown that urban space was a result of numerous political, economic and cultural decisions and of the activity of more or less informed and mobilized citizens. Divergent and conflictual interests most often guide decision-makers. The result of urban conflicts depends on unequal political and economic power of actors. 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.
2. International Conference “Political Geography and Geopolitics: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”. Moscow, June 1-7, 2003. Organizers: Vladimir Kolossov and Vladimir Gorbanyov. About 100 participants from 17 countries (Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Iran, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, UK and USA) attended the conference. They submitted 57 papers, most of which will be published in the proceedings. Alexei Meshkov, Russia’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, offered a lecture. Participants were invited to a scientific excursion in Moscow and to a two-days excursion to Yaroslavl. The conference focused on:
1/ post-modernist developments in the theory of political geography
The conference clearly demonstrated the tendency toward further theoretical and methodological rapprochement between political geography geopolitics and other social disciplines (for instance, sociology and political psychology): the dynamic of international relations is to a large extent determined by the domestic situation in each state, and vice versa. It was shown that Central and East European countries were facing challenges of de-securitization in many fields of their external relations and, in particular, border policy. These challenges are closely related with changes in territorial identities. An analysis of the experience of three belts of Euroregions in Europe (between old EU members, old and new members, and between new members and third states) reveals weaknesses of such that have been recently created only recently and the conditions of their success. Combination of geographic and sociological methods with an analysis of political discourse allows evaluating the gap between geopolitical concept developed by politicians and experts, and popular geopolitical representations – between illusions and reality.
3. The Third International Conference on Political Geography "Central and Eastern Europe Before Enlargement of European Union and NATO”, Gdansk - Hel, Poland, September 1-3, 2003. Organizers: Jan Wendt (Poland) and Alexandru Ilies (Romania). About 50 participants coming from Central-European countries submitted to the conference 37 papers. They were focused on:
1/ concept of territorial-political organization of society as the basis
of political geography;
V - Other Past Events
1. IGU Regional Conference “The interaction of society and environment under the conditions of global and regional changes”. Organized by Russian National Committee of Geographers, Russian Geographical Society, Institute of Geography, Moscow, and Institute of Water and Environmental Problems of Russian Academy of Sciences, Barnaul, Department of Geography, Moscow State University, and Altai State University. Moscow – Barnaul, 18-29 July 2003.
The conference was attended by more than 300 scholars, including about 200 participants from foreign countries. They were greeted by IGU President Ann Buttimer and past-President Bruno Messerly, who submitted presentations at plenary sessions. Participants were invited to two three-days field excursions to Teletskoe lake and to a glacier in Altai mountains. An important part of presentations at the section of human geography was devoted to political-geographical problems, especially to political aspects of sustainable development. In particular, L.Korytny (Russia) considered the role of river basins as integral social and political systems and a basis of geographical studies. It allows working out new principles of territorial administration and the management of environmental problems, and contributes to a better undertsanding of the reasons of a great number of international conflicts. A.Fetisov (Russia) showed how rich natural resources could slow down the socio-economic and political development of a country. P.Baklanov (Russia) studied factors of territorial integration and disintegration in North-East Eurasia. S.Davgun (USA) analyzed the impact of regional and global forces on sustainbale development of a typical small town in the north of the US (Bemidji, Minnesota). M.Lawrence, E. Freeman, C. Christofferson from the US and J. Mutuku Kiilu from Kenia showed what a expensive social price the Kenian society paid for the world leading positions of their country in the share of natural reserves and parks in the total national territory. It was achieved due to the forced ousting of hundreds thousands people from new natural reserves to peripheral arid lands settled by other ethnic groups. As a result, a large part of the country suffer from social pathologies which are uncomaptible with the objectives of sustainable development – increasing poverty and risk of ethnic conflicts, high pressure on environment in the areas of migrations, etc.
VI - New Titles in Political Geography
ANDERSON, Ewan W., International Boundaries: A Geopolitical Atlas, London, Routledge, 2003.
BEREZIN, Mabel & Martin SCHAIN (Eds), Europe Without Borders: Remapping Territory, Citizenship and Identity in a Transnational Age, Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003.
BOUGAREL, Xavier & Nathalie CLAYER, Le Nouvel Islam balkanique. Les Musulmans, acteurs du post-communisme 1990-2000, Paris, Maisonneuve & Larose, 2001 (in French).
GOSSIAUX, Jean-François, Pouvoirs ethniques dans les Balkans, Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, 2002 (in French).
ILIES, Alexandru & Jan WENDT (Eds.), Europe Between Milleniums. Political-Geographical Studies, Oradea, Editura Universitatii din Oradea, 2003, 286 pages.
OTOK, Stanislaw, Geografia Polityczna, Warsaw, Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN, 2003 (in Polish).
PRESTON, Zoë, The Crystallization of the Iraqi State. Geopolitical Function and Form, Berne, Peter Lang, 2003, 336 pages.
RICHARD Yann & Andre-Louis SANGUIN (Eds). L'Europe de l'Est quinze ans après la chute du Mur. Des pays baltes à l'ex-Yougoslavie, Paris, Editions L'Harmattan, 2004, 332 pages (in French).
SANGUIN, Andre-Louis & GAUNARD-ANDERSON, Marie-France (Eds). Entre Espace Schengen et élargissement à l’Est : les recompositions territoriales de l’Union Européenne. Mosella, 2002, vol. 27, n° 3-4, 356 pages (in French).
STAEHELI, Lynn A., DOWLER, Lorrain & Doris WASTL-WALTER (Eds), « Social Transformation, Citizenship, and the Right to the City”. GeoJournal, 2002, vol. 58, n) 2-3. pp. 73-223 (special issue).
KOLOSSOV, Vladimir & Vladimir GORBANYOV (Eds), Political Geography and Geopolitics: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Moscow, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), 2004.
HULBERT, François & Daniel LAGAREC (Eds), Géopolitique urbaine, Paris, Editions L’Harmattan, 2005 (in French).
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
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of its authors. The contents of the page have not been reviewed or approved by Miami University.Maintained by Carl Dahlman email@example.com