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International Geographical Union
                                                   Commission on Political Geography
                       NEWSLETTER  5  (September 2005)

                                                                                                       Edited by André-Louis Sanguin

IGU Commission on Political Geography, 2004-2008

Chair: Professor André-Louis Sanguin, Faculty of Geography, University of Paris-Sorbonne, 191 rue Saint-Jacques, 75005 Paris, France. E-mail : alsanguin@wanadoo.fr

Vice-Chair: Professor Anton Gosar, Dean, Faculty of Humanities, University of Primorska, Glagoljaska 8, 6000 Koper, Slovenia. E-mail : anton.gosar@guest.arnes.si

Secretary: Professor David Newman, Department of Politics & Government, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, POB 653, 84105 Beer Sheva, Israel. E-mail : newman@bgumail.bgu.ac.il

Webmaster: Asst. Prof. Carl Dahlman, Department of Geography, University of South Carolina, Columbia SC 29208, USA. E-mail : dahlman@sc.edu

Steering Committee:

  • Sanjay Chaturvedi, Centre for the Study of Geopolitics, Panjab University, 1600-014 Chandigarh, India. E-mail : sanjay@pu.ac.in
  • Elena Dell’Agnese, Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Milano-Bicocca, Via Bicocca degli Arcimbaldi 8, 20126 Milan, Italy. E-mail : elena.dellagnese@unimib.it
  • Alexandru Ilies, Department of Geography, University of Oradea, Str. Armata Romana 5, 410078 Oradea, Romania. E-mail : ilies@uoradea.ro
  • Maano Ramutsindela, Department of Environmental and Geographical Science, University of Cape Town, Private Bag, 7701 Rondebosch, South Africa. E-mail : maano@enviro.uct.ac.za
  • Paul Reuber, Institute of Geography, University of Münster, Robert Koch Strasse 26, 48149 Münster, Germany. E-mail : p.reuber@uni-muenster.de
  • Lynn Staeheli, Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 80309-0487, USA. E-mail : lynner@colorado.edu
  • Marek Sobczynski, Department of Political Geography, University of Lodz, Collegium Geographicum, ul. Kopcinskiego 31, 90142 Lodz, Poland. E-mail : marsob@geo.uni.lodz.pl
  • Takashi Yamazaki, Department of Geography, Osaka City University, Sugimoto, Sumiyoshi-ku, 5588585 Osaka, Japan. E-mail : yamataka@lit.osaka-cu.ac.jp

I – Chairman’s Column

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

The year which has just gone out since the Glasgow IGU International Congress (August 2004) has offered the wide spectrum of positive and negative aspects regarding the geography of international affairs: natural hazards with powerless States, putsches, genocides and ethnic cleansings, terrorist attacks, religious gatherings, civil wars, peace accords, border openings, cross-border cooperations... From the Switzerland's entering into Schengen Space to the Israeli disengagement in the Gaza Strip, from the Darfur War to the Ivory Coast's partition, from the Iraki chaos to the nuclearization of North Korea and Iran, a great deal of key national or international problems represents a lot of in vivo practical works of political geography.

            In some countries, political geographers are very present and very active in the medias in order to propose objective and precise analysis for the general public. In other countries, political geographers are absent and other social scientists are substituting them in the media foreground. Political geographers have to stop being timorous. Certainly, they are not journalists but the "restraint of medias which instils a certain Western scientific education" according to the anthropologist Yves Coppens should not compel them to be silent.

            The issues regarding peace and conflicts are more than ever in the heart of the political geography's concerns. In this view, political geographers are keenly invited to attend and submit papers to both IGU next international meetings, namely the IGU 2006 Regional Conference in Brisbane, Australia (3-7 July 2006) (see chapter Future Events Sponsored by the Commission) and the IGU 2008 International Congress in Tunis, Tunisia (25-29 August 2008) (see chapter Future Events Sponsored by the Commission).

   André-Louis Sanguin, Chair

II - Future Events Sponsored by the Commission
1. International Conference « Dayton – Ten Years Later : Conflict Resolution and Cooperation Perspectives ». Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, November 29-December 1, 2005. The conference will be held in Sarajevo on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of Dayton Peace Accords signature. It will be organized by the University of Primorska (Slovenia) and University of Sarajevo under the auspices of the Slovenian OSCE Chairmanship with support of the OSCE Mission to Bosnia-Herzegovina.
            The multi-layered conference will bring together politicians, officials, scholars and experts from various disciplines who may contribute to the geopolitical, historical, security, cultural, social and economic factors analysis having an impact on divergence and convergence processes and prospects in the area of former Yugoslavia and South-Eastern Europe, from the perspective of the Agreement. The aim of the conference is to make a comprehensive assessment of the historical background leading to the signature of the Dayton Peace Accords, to provide an analysis of the current situation, to discuss problems concerning integration and disintegration processes, to enlighten social and spatial, geopolitical and security trends, and indicate future opportunities for cooperation within a broader European and global context. Ten years after the establisment of the Office of the High Representative and the later institution of the so-called Bonn Powers, the international community has to rethink its role in Bosnia-Herzegovina, specifically having in mind the country's strategic objective of joining Euro-Atlantic institutions.
            The conference will be chaired by Dimitrij Rupel, OSCE Chairman-in-Office and Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Slovenia. Among the keynote speakers and official guests, the Conference will welcome: Richard Holbrooke, former US Assistant Secretary of State and Chief Negociator of the Dayton Peace Accords, Lord Paddy Ashdown, High Representative and EU Special Representative in BiH, Wolfgang Petritsch, former High Representative in BiH, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, NATO Secretary General, Olli Rehn, European Commissioner for Enlargement, Vladimir Chizhov, Head of the Mission of the Russian Federation to the EU, the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia-Montenegro and Croatia
            Professor Anton Gosar (Vice-Chair, IGU Commission on Political Geography) is the Head of the Organizational Board of the entire conference. The third circular, containing a more detailed programme and logistical information on the event, will be forwarded to participants in October 2005. For further information and a registration form, please contact, preferably via e-mail: Ms. Valentina Bertok, Department of Geography, University of Primorska, Koper, Slovenia at: valentina.bertok@fhs-kp.si. Fax: ++386-5-663-7742. Phone: ++386-5-663-7752.

2. International Conference "Borderscapes: Spaces in Conflict / Symbolic Places / Networks of Peace"; Trento, Italy, 11-14 June 2006. Venue: Centro Congressi Panorama (altitude 560 meters) above Trento City and connected by a cable car to the city. Organized by Elena Dell'Agnese (University of Milano-Biccoca and Member of the Steering Committe, IGU Commission of Political Geography), this conference is planned to discuss the following questions:
Borderscapes as symbolic landscapes: Demarcating objects and symbols – Borderscapes in popular litterature – Teaching about boundaries: borderscapes in textbooks and education – The myth of the natural boundary – Mountain borderscapes
Borderscapes as spaces of cultural encounters: Identities, sociolinguistics boundaries, education – Minorities, territorial disputes, irredentism – Classical models of the political geography of boundaries revisited
Borderscapes of fluxes and communication, trans-border cooperation: Transborder institutions and cross-border regions – Governance and policy around borders – Fluxes, gravitation areas, commercial spaces and traffics
A fieldtrip to Trento and its province will be organized between the sessions to visit the relict boundary and its borderscapes and the local wineries. After the conference, a 3-days post-conference excursion will be organized to the bilingual area of Bolzano, the Brenner Pass and the trilingual area of Alta Badia (14-17 June 2006).
For further information, registration form, please contact: elena.dellagnese@unimib.it
3. IGU 2006 Regional Conference "Regional Responses to Global Changes. A View from the Antipodes", Brisbane, Australia, 3-7 July 2006. Traditionnally, the IGU Regional Conference is scheduled between two IGU International Congresses. This conference will focus geographical attention on critical physical and human processes driving global change. Complex, global-scale processes exert pressures on environmental, social, cultural and economic resources at regional and local scales. The conference will look at regional responses in a changing world, with emphasis on tropical zones, particularly in South-East Asia and the South-West Pacific.
            The Commission on Political Geography will organize two sessions. Interested people are invited to submit and present papers on the two following subjects:
1/ Political Spaces in and around the South Pacific
2/ Maritime Boundaries in South-East Asia and South-West Pacific
For enquiries and information please contact the Chair of the Commission (alsanguin@wanadoo.fr). The second session will be organized by Dr. Clive Schofield, Center for Maritime Policy, University of Wollongong, Wollongong NSW 2522. E-mail: clives@uow.edu.au. Fax: ++ 61-2-4221-5544
IGU Brisbane Regional Conference Website: www.igu2006.org; Chair, Programme Committee: Nigel Taper at: Nigel.Tapper@arts.monash.edu.au

4. IGU 2008 International Congress "Collaboratively Building Our Territories", Tunis, Tunisia, 25-29 August 2008. The proposed congress structure follows the traditional IGU pattern, with plenary sessions, paper sessions, technical and poster sessions, exhibition, social programs, pre-congress and post-congress excursions. In order to mobilize intellectual energies and scientific contributions to the 2008 Tunis IGU Congress, the IGU Executive Committee has approved a Mediterranean Renaissance Programme. This initiative was designed to focus on the geographical conditions of the Mediterranean region, its perspectives for human development, the pecularities of inter-cultural relationships among local communities, the perception of this region from the rest of the world, and the perception of the rest of the world from the region.
            The Commission on Political Geography is an active member of the Mediterranean Renaissance Programme. In this view, the Commission will organize on the occasion of the Tunis International Congress the following four sessions:
1/ Geopolitical Trends of the Mediterranean in a 21st Century Globalized World
2/ The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership
3/ The Maritime Boundaries of the Mediterranean: Assessments and Outlooks
4/ Conflicts and Conflict Resolutions in the Mediterranean World
            People interested in attending these sessions and submiting papers have to contact the Commission's Chair at : alsanguin@wanadoo.fr

III – Other Future Events

1. International Borders Conference "Lineae Terrarum", El Paso, USA; Ciudad Juarez, Mexico; Las Cruces, USA, 27-30 March 2006. The event is a moving conference and will be held in the three neighbouring cities of El Paso (Texas), Ciudad Juarez (Chihuahua) and Las Cruces (New Mexico). Transportation will be provided between venues. Borders mean more than boundaries and are often the meeting points of different peoples and cultures. Studying border issues requires attention to interdisciplinary issues and approaches. In an age where globalization has increased economic interactions and integration, increased terrorists’s ability to operate transnationally, increased migrants’s mobility, potential disease spreading globally and contacts of different cultures, we require both theory to explain the special characteristics of border environments as well as a deeper discussion of policy.
            The goal of this conference is to bring together scholarship on Border Theory and Border Issues in the region Paso del Norte. The nature of the conference will be interdisciplinary with the following themes highlighted: Border Theory – Security – Trade – Economic Integration – Mobility and Migration – Health – Ethnic and Cultural Boundaries – Environment – Water Issues.
            The Conference is open to Faculty from various disciplines, students and political analysts. It is also a goal to assemble a multi-volume, interdisciplinary publication reflecting many of the papers presented. Papers proposals are due on October 1st, 2005 and should be about 100-150 words in lenght. Conference Administrator: Dr. Tony Payan, Department of Political Science, University of Texas at El Paso. E-mail: lineaeterrarum@utep.edu or lapayan@utep.edu. Please, visit the webpage for further information and to submit a paper proposal: www.research.utep.edu/lineaeterrarum
2. International Conference "Border Management in an Insecure World", Durham, UK, 5-7 April 2006. Much has been written in recent years about the value of "soft" borders in maintaining good relations between neighbouring states and creating borderland prosperity. However, the reality in many parts of the world is that borders are hardening rather than softening as states seek to protect their populations from perceived external threats. The aim of this confrence will be to examine the implications of the re-emergence of security as a key dimension of boundary management. Can borders actually be made secure in the 21st century? If so, what are the political, economic and social consequences, especially for border regions? And how can scholars assist practitioners in finding solutions to complex border management challenges.
            Potential speakers should prepare an abstract of not more than 300 words and forward it by e-mail, fax or post not later than 15 October 2005. In order to receive further information on the conference, please contact: Ms. Michelle Speak, Director of External Relations, IBRU (International Border Research Unit), Department of Geography, University of Durham, Durham DH1 3LE, UK. E-mail: michelle.speak@dur.ac.uk; fax: ++44(0)191-334-1962
            Keep an eye on the IBRU website at www-ibru.dur.ac.uk/conferences.html

IV – Past Events Sponsored by the Commission

1. International Conference BRIT VII "Border Regions in Transition: Crossing Disciplines, Crossing Scales, Crossing Cultures" and EUBorderConf "Israel-Palestine Workshop", Jerusalem-Eilat, Israel, 9-15 January 2005. Organized by David Newman, Secretary of the Commission on Political Geography, with the collaboration of the Ben Gurion University of the Negev, the Center for the Study of European Politics and Society, The Van Leer Institute of Jerusalem and the EUBorderConf (funded by the EU), the conference was certaintly the biggest one never organized since the creation of the IGU Commission of Poltical Geography: 87 participants (including 20 Israeli colleagues) and 59 papers (and just one cancelled paper!). The variety of the tackled topics about border issues was probably the widest in this kind of political geography's meeting. Due to the impressive number of papers, the organizers have shared them towards several reviews like Geopolitics, Political Geography, Journal of Borderlands Studies...
            Within the conference, the participants enjoyed a field trip to the Separation Fence and to Jerusalem. After the event, a 3-days post-conference trip took them to the Israel-Jordan and Israel-Egypt boundaries with a last meeting in Eilat along the Red Sea.
2. International Conference "The Orbit of Jean Gottmann's Geography", Paris, 29-30 March 2005. Organized by Luca Muscara (University of Molise, Italy) with the help of the University of Paris-Sorbonne, the Society of Geography and the French National Library, this conference gathered 40 participants around 20 papers focused on the following topics: 1/ Megalopolis: Reappraising a landmark book; 2/ Jean Gottmann: Trans-Atlantic Communicator; 3/ Between the universalism of history and the particularism of geography; 4/ Towards a world community. The conference was the occasion to celebrate the recent publication of the Luca Muscara's book La strada di Gottmann. Tra universalismi della storia e particolarismi della geografia (Rome, Nexta Books, March 2005, 248 pages). The Conference's proceedings will be published in La Géographie/Acta Geographica by the Society of Geography (Paris).
3. International Conference "Former Yugoslavia Ten Years After Dayton. New States Between Community Tearings and European Integration", Paris, 7-8 June 2005. Organized by André-Louis Sanguin, Chair of the Commission on Political Geography, the conference gathered 60 participants around 24 papers. As a kind of prologue to the Sarajevo November 2005 Conference on the same topic (see chapter Future Events)), this meeting was honoured by the presence of the Ambassador of Slovenia in France and of a former Minister of Education and Research of Slovenia. Five key topics were developed during the conference: 1/ Teared populations; 2/ Spaces in political bankruptcy; 3/ Breaks and fragmentations; 4/ Stabilizations and openings; 5/ The European Union put to the test of former Yugoslavia.
            The proceedings will be published in November 2005 by a Paris publisher and later announced in a next Commission's Newsletter. 
V – Some Research Centres on Border Studies 
Denmark – The Department of Border Region Studies (formerly the Danish Institute of Border Region Studies) is a cross-disciplinary research institute under the Faculty of Sciences, University of Southern Denmark. E-mail: ifg@sam.sdu.dk. Website: www.sdu.dk or www.sam.sdu.dk/e/depts/ifg/index.shtml 
Ireland – Centre for Cross-Border Studies. Website: www.crossborder.ie 
Netherlands – Nijmegen Centre for Border Research is a part of the Department of Geography, University of Nijmegen. Directors: Henk Van Houtoum and Martin Van De Velde. Both are co-editors of the Journal of Borderlands Studies. Website: www.ru.nl/ncbr 
United Kingdom – 1/ IBRU (International Boundaries Research Unit). Department of Geography, University of Durham, UK. E-mail: ibru@durham.ac.uk. Website: www-ibru.dur.ac.uk 2/ Centre for Border Studies, University of Glamorgan, Pontypridd, Wales. E-mail: cbs@glam.ac.uk. Website: www.centreforberderstudies.ac.uk or www.glam.ac.uk/hass/research/border 

VI – Second Circular Letter from the IGU President

            Adalberto Vallega, President of the International Geographical Union, has published his Circular Letter #2 in July 2005 in English and French. See http://www.vallega.it


VII – The IGU E-Newsletter (Quarterly)


At the end of July 2005 the IGU Home of Geography (Rome, Italy) sent the first issue of the IGU E-Newsletter. This communication tool will be circulated quarterly. Each issue may be easily downloaded from both the IGU (www.igu-net.org) and the Home of Geography (www.homeofgeography.org) websites. The next issue, which is expected to be circulated next October, will include special, ample session on the Home of Geography organization and activities. All of you are kindly invited to send any material that could be of interest to the world geographers' community. Many Commissions, Task Forces and National Committees will use this channel to diffuse information of their activities. Thanks to the IGU E-Newsletter, institutions having already their own websites may reach an even large number of people.


VIII – Some New Titles in Political Geography


ARIJ (Applied Research Institute Jerusalem), A Geopolitical Atlas of Palestine, The West Bank and Gaza, Jerusalem, Arij, 2004.
BIGER, Gideon, The Boundaries of Modern Palestine 1840-1947, London, Routledge, 2004.
CSURGAI, Gyula, La nation et ses territoires en Europe centrale, une approche géopolitique, Berne, Peter Lang, 2005.
CUTTER, Susan, RICHARDSON, Douglas & Thomas WILBANKS (Editors), The Geographical Dimensions of Terrorism, London, Routledge, 2003.
GANSTER, Paul & David LOREY (Editors), Borders and Border Politics in a Globalized World, Lanham, SR Books, 2005.
GRAHAM, Stephen (Editor), Cities, War and Terrorism: Towards an Urban Geopolitics, Malden, Blackwell, 2004.
HAMMER, Juliane, Palestinians Born in Exile. Diaspora and the Search for a Homeland, Austin, University of Texas Press, 2005.
HEATHER, Nicol & Ian TOWNSEND-GAULT (Editors), Holding the Line: Borders in a Global World, Vancouver, University of British Columbia Press, 2005.
KELLY, Philip, Checkerboards and Shatterbelts. The Geopolitics of South America, Austin, University of Texas Press, 2004.
KLEMENCIC, Matjaz & Mitja ZAGAR, The Former Yugoslavia's Diverse Peoples. A Reference Sourcebook, Santa Barbara, ABC-Clio Inc., 2004.
KRAMSCH, Oliver & Barbara HOOPER (Editors), Cross-Border Governance in the European Union, London, Routledge, 2004.
MANSVELT-BECK, Jan, Territory and Terror, Conflicting Nationalisms in the Basque Country, London, Routledge, 2005.
MORGENTHALER, Jefferson, The River Has Never Divided US. A Border History of La Junta de los Rios, Austin, University of Texas Press, 2004.
MUSCARA, Luca, La strada di Gottmann. Tra universalismi della storia e particolarismi della geografia, Rome, Nexta Books, 2005.
PAVLAKOVICH, Vera, MOREHOUSE, Barbara & Doris WASTL-WALTER (Editors), Challenged Borderlands: Trancending Political and Cultural Boundaries, Burlington, Ashgate, 2004.
ROSIERE, Stéphane, Nettoyage ethnique, violences politiques et peuplement, special issue of Revue Géographique de l'Est (Nancy), 2005.
SMITH, Neil, American Empire. Roosevelt's Geographer and the Prelude to Globalization, Berkeley, University of California Press, 2003.
SOLIOZ, Christophe & Tobias VOGEL (Editors) Dayton and Beyond: Perspectives on the Future of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Baden-Baden, Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, 2004.

STAEHELI, Lynn, KOFMAN, Eleonore & Linda PEAKE (Editors), Mapping Women, Making Policies: Feminist Perspectives in Political Geography, London, Routledge, 2004.

TODOROVA, Maria (Editor), Balkan Identities, Nation and Memory, New York, New York University Press, 2004.

This newsletter has been produced and published at the Sorbonne (Paris) by Professor André-Louis SANGUIN (Chair of the Commission) with the assistance of Caroline MOUMANEIX, postgraduate in political geography.

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 dahlmac@muohio.edu

 updated: October 11, 2005 (Oct 4, 2006)