Category Archives: Geography

Impressions of “The Island of Lost Maps” by Miles Harvey

Today I finished The Island of Lost Maps by Miles Harvey. This book was loaned to me some time ago by a very close friend. In truth, I was hesitant to read it because of the ghastly nature of the crime. The description of taking an X-acto knife to library books to rip out maps made me physically ill.

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However, the book was a great read. The meandering narrative gave it a hallucinogenic feel, as did the attempts by the author to understand the map thief, one Gilbert Bland. While Harvey can be quite opinionated on historical questions — his denunciation of cartographic “lies” could be tempered by reading Phantom Islands of the Atlantic or even Lands Beyond — I learned a lot about John C. Fremont, and many other characters besides. Harvey clearly enjoys the world of reading maps, and has a list of cool map links on his personal website.

I love maps, and this story of someone who destroyed them for profit was a fascinating read. Like anything with maps and the unknown, it leaves a sad feeling at the end, because after the last page there is no more of this book to read.

Recommended.

Stalin’s Old New Map

Catholicgauze, Coming Anarchy, and Sun Bin are abuzz about a terrifying proposed world map from the 1940s. Representing, if implemented, preemptive surrender in the Cold War, the map would have been a disastrous on an unimaginable scale.


The Greater Soviet Union

The proposal would have completely demilitarized the Rimland, throwing democratic parties out of Europe, Africa, and coastal Asia, with the sole exception of Britain (whose possessions would focus on Australasia). The Soviets would have war-water ports on three oceans, and the exclusive American dominion over the Western Hemisphere would be reduced to only North America.

Bloody Sovietism in full swing, the plan called for ethnic cleansing genocide, and socialism on a huge scale

For instance

38. To reduce the numerical power of the aggressor nations, as a potential military advantage, a Population Control Policy shall be elaborated and applied in the quarantined areas
39. In the New World Moral Order which we week to establish, besides the essential political freedoms, the following fundamental economic changes are imperative
(a) Nationalization of all natural resources and equitable distribution of same to all nations — everywhere in the world;
(b) Nationalization of international banking, foreign investments, railroads, and power plants — everywhere in the world;
(c) Nationalization of all armaments producing establishments by all remaining military powers;
(d) Federal control of foreign commerce and shipping;
(e) The establishment of a world common monetary system
(f) World-wide limitations of interest rates to a maximum of two percent
40. To retain the victory and leadership of our united democratic effort — the aim of which is not vengeance or exploitation, but freedom and security to all notions for peaceful progress — the unified “Supreme War Command of the United Nations” at the conclusion of the present war, shall be reorganized and transformed into a permanent “Supreme Military and Economic Council” collaborating with the World League of Nationalities in post-war reconstruction and to enforce world peace.

Thank God we didn’t lose the War through that sort of “peace”! Even if it meant 50 years of “war”!

Redefining the Gap 9, Methods and Operationalizations

Note: This is a selection from Redefining the Gap, part of tdaxp‘s SummerBlog ’06

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Poverty will be measured by GDP per capita, measured by purchasing power parity (CIA 2006c). Estimates are recent, with most being from 2004 or 2005. The information is listed in US Dollars. My study will scale GDP per capita so that poorest value is 0 and the richest value is 1. For each state, it’s value will be calculated by taking the difference between that state’s value and the lowest state’s value, divided by the difference between the highest state’s value and the lowest state’s value. The logic to read in and scale this data is included in the appendix, particularly in the function scaleData().


Nastiness will be measured by a state’s Freedom in the World measure (Freedom House 2006). Freedom House uses two 7-point scales for political freedoms and civil rights. The most repressive, and thus “nastiest,” regimes would score a 7 on both counts, while the least nasty would score 1. This study will take the mean of the two values and scale them, with the most free state having a score of “1” and the least free state having a score of “0.” The logic to read in and scale this data is included in the appendix.

Shortness will be measured by life expectancy (CIA 2006d). Estimates are recent, with all dating from 2006. The information is listed in years. The study will scale life expectancy so that shortest value is “0” and the longest value is “1.” The logic to read in and scale this data is included in the appendix.

Brutality will be calculated from the International Crisis Behavior project (CIDCM 2006). Wars which have been fought at least in part after 1992 will be considered. Wars are considered dyadic. Brutality will be measured as the sum of wars per year. For example, a state that is involved in two wars each against two states that each last two years would have a brutality score of “8.” The study will then scale the scores, with the least brutal state having a score of 0 and the most “brutal” state having a score of 1. The logic to read and scale this data is included in the appendix.

Solitariness will be measured by the number of Internet hosts in a country per capita. This will be derived from two different measures: the number of Internet hosts per country divided by each country’s population (CIA 2006b; CIA 2006e). The population of Internet hosts and people are both estimated down to individual hosts and persons. All estimates of Internet hosts date form 2005 while all estimates of population date are for July 2006. The result will then be scaled, with the state with the highest number of Internet hosts per capita as “1,” and the state with the lowest number as “0.” The logic to read and scale this data is included in the appendix.

The model will contain eight dependent variables, with two of them relating directly to Barnett’s “new map.” All will be ordinal values, with the lowest values referring to the Gap (or its supposed equivalent), and the highest values referring to the Functioning Core (or its supposed equivalent). Three of the variables will have two possible variables, while the other five will have three.

The first dependent variables look at are Barnett’s models. Barnett has described his cartography in two different ways: as comprising a “Functioning Core” and a “Non-Integrating Gap,” as well as of comprising an “Old Core,” a “New Core,” and the “Gap.” The difference is that the more detailed model separates peripheral or newly developed economies — Argentina, South Africa, South Korea, etc. – from the Cold War pillars of North America, Western Europe, and Japan. The binary variable will rate the Gap as 0 and the Core as 1. The ternary variable will rate the Gap as 0, the New Core as 1, and the Old Core as 2.

As Barnett’s PNM model is essentially a critical North-South view of the world, most of the other dependent variables for rival hypotheses will be taken from other concepts that are analogous to the Global South – the Non-Aligned Movement and the Third World (Holm 1990:2). Additionally, one more will be added to address a cultural and race based criticism of Barnett’s map.

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The Nonaligned Movement

The next four variables relate to an International Organizational definition of the global south. It relies on two NGOs, the G77 and the G24. The G77 is an organization of undeveloped countries, and the G24 is its executive steering committee. G77 nations are assumed to be similar to Barnett’s “Gap,” while G24 to his “New Core.” Therefore, the binary variable for this shall map the G77 to 0 and the rest of the world to 1. The ternary variable will rate nations only in the G77 as 0, states in the G77 and G24 as 1, and all other states as 2. Dependent variables for the Non-Aligned Movement and its executive steering committee, the G-15, will be calculated in the same fashion. The G77 and the Nonaligned Movement are of about the same age, though the G77 traditionally has a broader membership (Geldart and Lyon 1980-1981:80), so it makes sense to examine both of these alternatives.

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The Group of Seventy-Seven

An “international group” perspective will be used to divide countries into Least Developed Nations, Less Developed Nations, and the rest of the world (CIAa 2006a). The measures of Least Developed Countries (LLDCs) and Less Developed Countries (LDCs) originate at the United Nations. The distinction is meant to separate countries which have a reasonable chance of developing with those facing severe structural maladies (Horowitz 1985-1986:47).The same ternary and binary divisions will be used for these are as predicted. When viewed binarily, LLDc and LDCs will both be valued at 0, with other states valued at 1. Viewed as ternary, LLDCs will have the value of 0, LDCs of 1, and all other states of 2.

The term Global South originated in part as a reaction against the fading “Third World” model that was born in the 1950s. This model will use this model, taking as its definition of “worlds” from a map. Formerly and currently Communist states, from Poland to Vietnam, are in the Second World and labeled “2.” The United States and other “free” states are in the First World and labeled 1. The rest of the world, which closely matches traditional views of the Global South, is measured at 3.
One more possible dependent variable, this one binary, will calculated. This addresses the concern that the “new map” is essentially just an encirclement of Africa and majority Muslim states, with the rest of the “Gap” (the Caribbean, South-East Asia, etc) as more-or-less superfluous. An earlier version of Barnett’s work made this explicit, “with only Central Asia, the Middle East, and Africa trapped on the outside, noses pressed to the glass” (Barnett 2004:109). This variable will label as “0” any state in either the Organization of Islamic States or the African Union, and label all other states as 1. The often culturally destructive actions of newly independent African states (Beckstrom 1974:698) and their stagnating economies (Hentz 1997:32), as well as increasing instability through much of the Arab (Sayigh 1991:487) and Muslim (Menon 1995:154) world, argue that this alternative is a reasonable one.

The following specific predictions are made:

1.The Core-Gap binary variable will have have a positive correlation to each of the individual variables.
2.The Old-Core-New-Core-Gap ternary variable will have a positive correlation to each of the independent variables.
3.The Core-Gap binary variable will have a higher correlation to each of the independent variables than any of the other binary dependent variables.
4.The Old-Core-New-Core-Gap ternary variable will have a higher correlation to each of the independent variables than any of the other ternary dependent variables.
5.The Old Core-New Core-Gap ternary variable will have a higher correlation to each of the independent variables than the Core-Gap binary variable.


Redefining the Gap, a tdaxp series:
Redefining the Gap 1. Prologue
Redefining the Gap 2. Summary
Redefining the Gap 3. Introduction to Geopolitics
Redefining the Gap 4. First Geopolitical Theories
Redefining the Gap 5. The North and the South
Redefining the Gap 6. Critical Geopolitics
Redefining the Gap 7. The Pentagon’s New Map
Redefining the Gap 8. The Research Design
Redefining the Gap 9. Methods and Operationalizations
Redefining the Gap 10. Limitations and Conclusion
Redefining the Gap 11. Results
Redefining the Gap 12. Bibliography
Redefining the Gap 13. Appendix: Computer Code
Redefining the Gap 14. Appendix: National Codes

Redefining the Gap 7, The Pentagon’s New Map

Note: This is a selection from Redefining the Gap, part of tdaxp‘s SummerBlog ’06

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Thomas P.M. Barnett defines the “non-integrating gap” as those “regions of the world that are largely disconnected from the global economy and the rule set that defines its stability” (T. Barnett 2004:xvii-xviii). Immediately he gives it a geographic description, “today, the non-integrating gap is made up of the Caribbean Rim, Andean South America, virtually all of Africa, portions of the Balkans the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Middle East, and most of Southeast Asia.” Barnett writes that the “Gap” will be “the expeditionary theater for the U.S. military in the 21st century” (T Barnett 2003) of “failed states and feral cities” (T. Barnett 2004:151). The rest of the world, the “Functioning Core,” is in turn split “into the Old Core, anchored by America, Europe, and Japan; and the New Core, whose leading pillars are China, India, Brazil and Russia” (T. Barnett 2005:32).

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This graphic originally contained the following in its caption“Problem areas requiring American attention (outlined) are, in the author’s analysis, called the Gap. Shrinking the Gap is possible only by stopping the ability of terrorist networks to access the Core via the ‘seam states’ that lie along the Gap’s bloody boundaries” (T. Barnett 2003)

Barnett takes the first step towards operationalization an entity that is otherwise just a line drawn on a map (T. Barnett 2004:inside cover). Taking Hobbes as a model, Barnett defines life in the gap as “poor” (low GDP per capita), “nasty” (low levels of political freedom and human rights), “short” (low life expectancy), “brutal” (high levels of war), and “solitary” (few Internet hosts per capita) (T. Barnett 2004:161-165).

Barnett draws from the geopolitical and North-South traditions. Barnett has written this new map is not a “’North-South’ map” (T. Barnett 2004:121) , but the similarity between The Gap and the Global South is striking. The policy implications of this have down criticism to the model (Moxham 2003). “Just as the theories of such geopolitical writers as Sir Halford Mackinder and Nicholas Spykman provided the intellectual underpinnings of US grand strategy during the Cold War,” Barnett’s model is accused of being an intellectual justification of a US grand strategy focusing on the Global South (Owens 2004).

As with Critical Geopolitics, PNM Theory is not just a description of the world but a prescription for the world. It is a model of both existing UN missions and “future hot spots” (Roberts, Secor and Sparke 2003:890). Barnett is “the best known proponent of wide area strategy” and his theory defines “who is ‘good’ and who is not” with the clear implication of widespread preemption (Richards 2005:39-40). PNM Theory, which was was created for the Pentagon in the wake of September 11th (Chaikivsky 2002:163) has already “helped reshape the direction of future military strategy based upon a new map and vision of the world security environment” (Coderre 2003). Barnett’s books (T. Barnett 2004; T. Barnett 2006) and theories are influential inside the Department of Defense (Barone 2005; Ignatius 2005; Mazzetti 2003; Tyson 2005), and senior officers now give presentations incorporating specific PNM concepts (Ignatius 2004).


Redefining the Gap, a tdaxp series:
Redefining the Gap 1. Prologue
Redefining the Gap 2. Summary
Redefining the Gap 3. Introduction to Geopolitics
Redefining the Gap 4. First Geopolitical Theories
Redefining the Gap 5. The North and the South
Redefining the Gap 6. Critical Geopolitics
Redefining the Gap 7. The Pentagon’s New Map
Redefining the Gap 8. The Research Design
Redefining the Gap 9. Methods and Operationalizations
Redefining the Gap 10. Limitations and Conclusion
Redefining the Gap 11. Results
Redefining the Gap 12. Bibliography
Redefining the Gap 13. Appendix: Computer Code
Redefining the Gap 14. Appendix: National Codes

Redefining the Gap 6, Critical Geopolitics

Note: This is a selection from Redefining the Gap, part of tdaxp‘s SummerBlog ’06

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In the early 1990s, the political tilt of Global South discussions led to the emergence of critical geopolitics (Dodds 1994:275). While some have criticized the theory as appearing too soon for a valid “contexualization” of geography (C. Barnett 1995:417) others view critical geopolitics as necessary for explaining the contemporary world (Tuathail and Luke 1994:381).


Critical geopolitics continues the north-south discussion. This may take the form of almost conventional north-south articles, such as between the United States and Cuba (Slater 1994:233) and the spread of dependency theory in Latin America (Slater 1993:420). Critical geopolitics also focuses on environmentalism and people “on the ground” (Brosius 1999: 282). Indeed, it is near to the ground “where problems and issues are far more personalized and less easily generalized” that critical geopolitics provides the best context (Simon 1996:51).

This domain moves beyond traditional state-centered geopolitics (Tuathail 1998:229), in spite of its global level of analysis. Critical geopolitics holds that power is “non-sovereigntist,” “relational,” and “found at work across all scales of social life” (Sparke 465). This is as true for public policies (Moon & Brown 69) as it is for money (Sidaway and Pryke 2000:189), and as true for the public sector as for the private. Such emphasis on the social world echoes Mahan, and his belief on the importance of technology and the economy on the geopolitical world.

Interestingly, critical geopolitics argues that geopolitics itself is a critical field. That is, geopolitics “dominant mode of narration was declarative (‘this is how the world is’) and imperative (‘this is what we must do’)” (Tuathail 2000:166). Recognition of everything, including computer technology (Froehling 1997:293), as a tool of neither liberation or oppression but struggle emphasizes this ends-centered outlook of critical geopolitics. Geopolitics, in other words, is “political from the very outset” (Tuathail 1998:28).


Redefining the Gap, a tdaxp series:
Redefining the Gap 1. Prologue
Redefining the Gap 2. Summary
Redefining the Gap 3. Introduction to Geopolitics
Redefining the Gap 4. First Geopolitical Theories
Redefining the Gap 5. The North and the South
Redefining the Gap 6. Critical Geopolitics
Redefining the Gap 7. The Pentagon’s New Map
Redefining the Gap 8. The Research Design
Redefining the Gap 9. Methods and Operationalizations
Redefining the Gap 10. Limitations and Conclusion
Redefining the Gap 11. Results
Redefining the Gap 12. Bibliography
Redefining the Gap 13. Appendix: Computer Code
Redefining the Gap 14. Appendix: National Codes

Redefining the Gap 5, The North and the South

Note: This is a selection from Redefining the Gap, part of tdaxp‘s SummerBlog ’06

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The theory of the Global North and Global South is a new geopolitical perspective. It is a new perspective that divides “the world into two blocs – the industrialized countries of the global North and the poor countries of the South” on the global level of analysis (Goldstein, Huang, and Akan 1997:242). While “Global South” is sometimes used as a synonym for the more familiar “Third World” (Hayes 1975:1261), the end of the Cold War has seen the term “Third World” and the politics behind it fall into disfavor (Pletsch 1981:569).

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The First, Second, and Third Worlds (Wikipedia Contributors 2006c)

As opposed to earlier theories, the Global South perspective saw America, Europe, and Russia as essentially identical, perhaps each a closely related “’conquering subculture” (Tyson and Said 1993: 602). One way the Northern countries are similar is in their demographic decline relative to Southern states (Demeny 2003:15). Conflict was now seen as essentially or largely between the north and south (Wanandi 1983:1276; Wells 1981:69; Young 1987:392). Wealth also distinguishes the generally prosperous north from an economically deprived south (Niva 1999:16).

Many theorists of the Global South theorists argue that security problems come from the Global South to the Global North. All of the September 11th attackers came from the Global South (Mazuri 2002:86) and the Global South is an incubator for religious fundamentalisms (Keddie 1998:700). This may be exacerbated by an income and wealth divide between the north and the south, such as in international debt instruments (Kaufman 1999:219). Some thinkers have suggested that the Global South has delayed if not prevented Francis Fukuyama’s predicted “end of history” (Baker 1995:8).

Discussion of the Global South has traditionally involved political concerns. These have emphasized the behavior of labor, closely examining the flow of high-skilled persons from the south to the north (Ansah 2002:23) and the technology that allows people to work more efficiently Weber and Bussell 2005:77). Capital has also been discussed, including criticism of the north’s “patterns of consumption” (Edwards, Humle, and Wallace 1999:121) and patterns of investment (Ansley 2001:381) in the south. Land and the environment are also issues, like for example in “efforts to curb World Bank lending for projects that threatened peoples and ecosystems” (J. Smith 2001:4). At times this rises to the level of international diplomacy, with organizations like the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, and others in actual “north-south negotiations” (Erb 1977:109) and occasionally north-south threats (T. Smith 1977:5).

The divide between the Global North and the Global South has been described as both artificial and inevitable. On the artificial side, the disparity between Northern and Southern countries may be a function of different styles of property rights (Chichlinisky 1994:853) or exploitation of the south by the north (Herod 2000:419) . Further, China’s rise has seen the “Global North” spread into the south while uneducated “Northern” workers may face southern-style conditions (Broad and Cavanagh 1995-1996:29). However, many have argued that the divide is so real that even concepts such as equality must not be “exported” from the north to the south, but developed locally (Eisenstein 1997:155).


Redefining the Gap, a tdaxp series:
Redefining the Gap 1. Prologue
Redefining the Gap 2. Summary
Redefining the Gap 3. Introduction to Geopolitics
Redefining the Gap 4. First Geopolitical Theories
Redefining the Gap 5. The North and the South
Redefining the Gap 6. Critical Geopolitics
Redefining the Gap 7. The Pentagon’s New Map
Redefining the Gap 8. The Research Design
Redefining the Gap 9. Methods and Operationalizations
Redefining the Gap 10. Limitations and Conclusion
Redefining the Gap 11. Results
Redefining the Gap 12. Bibliography
Redefining the Gap 13. Appendix: Computer Code
Redefining the Gap 14. Appendix: National Codes

Redefining the Gap 4, First Geopolitical Theories

Note: This is a selection from Redefining the Gap, part of tdaxp‘s SummerBlog ’06

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Political Geography (geographie politique) was defined in 1751 (Kristof 1985:1178), but it’s modern study was invented by Friedrich Ratzel in his description of political geography (politische Geographie) in 1897 in terms of space and position (Kiss 1942:634). Rudolf Kjellen invented the term “geopolitics” (Agnew 1995:1; Tuathail 1994:259) shortly thereafter. Kjellen was primarily interested in how geography effects the power relations of states (Osterud 1998:191) – specifically, their land and people (Tunander 2005:548).


Alfred Mahan took a nautical view of geographical power. Essentially dividing the world in a global ocean and the lands it connects, he strongly pushed an ocean-centered view of history (Shulman 1998:407). He argued for a technologically and economically adaptive view of geopolitics (Israel 1978:371; Russell 1956:227) to account for a dynamic world. Mahan’s theories became extremely influential and were publicly praised by President Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Cabot Lodge, and others (Karsten 1971:589; LaFeber 1962:674).

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The “1904” line defines Mackinder’s “Pivot” (Parker 1998:104)

Mackinder reversed Mahan’s view, focusing on lands and in particular one land: the “pivot of history” (Dodds and Sidaway 2004). This area, comprising east-central Europe, central Asia, and Russia, was thought to have a potential resource and population base to dominate the world. The pivot was surrounded like an onion by an inner crescent of the warm-water Eurasian coast and the outer crescent of the rest of the world. A geopolitical model that was contemporary to world politics when it was original presented more than a century ago (Venier 2004:330), key elements of Mackinder’s philosophy were policy throughout much of the world into the 1970s (Mayell 2004:372). Even today, “Eurasianists” inspired by Mackinder are a powerful force inside Russia (G. Smith 1999:483), despite being officially discouraged under Communism (Guins 1964:342).

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Spykman’s “Rimland” in dashed lines (Parker 1998:125)

Spykman synthesized the views of Mahan and Mackinder. The focus was now on the “Rimland,” a renamed version of Mackinder’s “marginal crescent” (Fisher 1971:205). The Rimland hypothesis argued that a natural hegemon would form from the Rimland states (Britain, India, China, etc.). Thus, Spykman’s arguments implied that America had more in common with these states than her hemispheric neighbors to the South (Fox 1948:72). Spkyman’s theories carried an influential following well into the 1980s (Cohen 1991:552), if not beyond.


Redefining the Gap, a tdaxp series:
Redefining the Gap 1. Prologue
Redefining the Gap 2. Summary
Redefining the Gap 3. Introduction to Geopolitics
Redefining the Gap 4. First Geopolitical Theories
Redefining the Gap 5. The North and the South
Redefining the Gap 6. Critical Geopolitics
Redefining the Gap 7. The Pentagon’s New Map
Redefining the Gap 8. The Research Design
Redefining the Gap 9. Methods and Operationalizations
Redefining the Gap 10. Limitations and Conclusion
Redefining the Gap 11. Results
Redefining the Gap 12. Bibliography
Redefining the Gap 13. Appendix: Computer Code
Redefining the Gap 14. Appendix: National Codes

Redefining the Gap 3, Introduction to Geopolitics

Note: This is a selection from Redefining the Gap, part of tdaxp‘s SummerBlog ’06

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Geopolitics helped make geography a science by focusing on the political (Unstead 1949:47) and human (Dawson 1987:28) dimensions of geography. Halford Mackinder, an influential geopolitician, described his goal as not “to predict a great future for this or that country, but to make a geographical formula into which you could fit any political balance.” (Hall 1955:109). Thus, geography is a “conditioning factor” in many parts of politics (Spkyman 1938:29). The internal (Williams 1927:142) and external (Enterline 1998:804) nature of states and how they go to war (Midlarsky 1995:224) are effected by their geopolitical position. Geopolitical analysis has survived changing constellations of great powers and technologies (Hooson 1962:20). Stable geopolitical concepts have emerged, even as academic debates on the specifics of geopolitics continue (Harkavy 2001:38).


Normative accusations have dogged geopolitics. Charges of imperialism abound (Semmel 1958:554, Kearns 1999:450), as do accusations of ethnocentricism (Gilbert and Parker 1969:229). The critics of geopolitics sometimes associate it with racism , eugenics (Tyner 1999), and even encouraging war (Griswold 1940:2).


Redefining the Gap, a tdaxp series:
Redefining the Gap 1. Prologue
Redefining the Gap 2. Summary
Redefining the Gap 3. Introduction to Geopolitics
Redefining the Gap 4. First Geopolitical Theories
Redefining the Gap 5. The North and the South
Redefining the Gap 6. Critical Geopolitics
Redefining the Gap 7. The Pentagon’s New Map
Redefining the Gap 8. The Research Design
Redefining the Gap 9. Methods and Operationalizations
Redefining the Gap 10. Limitations and Conclusion
Redefining the Gap 11. Results
Redefining the Gap 12. Bibliography
Redefining the Gap 13. Appendix: Computer Code
Redefining the Gap 14. Appendix: National Codes

Redefining the Gap 1, Prologue

Note: This is a selection from Redefining the Gap, part of tdaxp‘s SummerBlog ’06

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Attempts to find empirical proof for Barnett’s Core-Gap hypothesis have increases since I first attempted operationalizing the gap. Coming Anarchy has looked at Euro-Canadian troop deployments and FP‘s failed state index, ZenPundit ponders metrics, Curtis looks at ways to skin the Gap, and Sean Meade, Tom Barnett’s blogger-in-chief, is paying attention.

Now I am prepared to release my own results:

We are at War with Africa and Islam


Actually, that may have been a bit alarmist. This is a little less so:

We are at War for Africa and Islam

Using methods that will be discussed in future posts, I compared Tom Barnett’s Core-Gap dichotomy, and Old-Core-New-Core-Gap trichotomy, with other measures of ares both settled and frontier. Specifically, I looked at every state’s Brutality of Life, Isolation of Life, Nastiness of Life, Poverty of Life, Shortness of Life

The two best divisions were Barnett’s three-way Old Core-New Core-Gap division, and a simplistic definition of the Gap to include only African and Muslim nations. The Old-New-Gap view of the world meshed well with Poverty and Solitude. For everything else, Afro-Islam is a better definition of the “Gap.”

Intrigued? Stay tuned — or comment!


Redefining the Gap, a tdaxp series:
Redefining the Gap 1. Prologue
Redefining the Gap 2. Summary
Redefining the Gap 3. Introduction to Geopolitics
Redefining the Gap 4. First Geopolitical Theories
Redefining the Gap 5. The North and the South
Redefining the Gap 6. Critical Geopolitics
Redefining the Gap 7. The Pentagon’s New Map
Redefining the Gap 8. The Research Design
Redefining the Gap 9. Methods and Operationalizations
Redefining the Gap 10. Limitations and Conclusion
Redefining the Gap 11. Results
Redefining the Gap 12. Bibliography
Redefining the Gap 13. Appendix: Computer Code
Redefining the Gap 14. Appendix: National Codes