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Showing posts from November, 2012

Colonial cartography, catalyst of conflict.

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Take a look at maps of the world before and after the age of imperial colonialism and you will  notice a stark contrast. Before colonialism boundaries were largely amorphous, curved and fluid; after they were rigid, straight and intransigent. At the turn of this century the lines that cut the globe also separated people, languages and cultures providing the touch-paper of conflicts that we see today, everyday...

In the language of geopolitics the work of power brokers, surveyors and cartographers of the late 19th century provided underlying tensions that today form the basis of global shatterbelts  -regions caught between stronger colliding external cultural-political forces, under persistent stress, and often fragmented by aggression.

A good starting point for any investigation of the origins of conflict is to look at who gained, and who lost, when the modern day borders of conflict zones were delineated. In 24 short, turn of the century years (1884-1919), the borders of  Israel, Pale…