Download Our Fragmented World: An Introduction to Political Geography by W.Gordon East PDF

By W.Gordon East

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Sample text

At the expense of food 42 Our Fragmented World crops. Some success in these unifying policies may be claimed on the score of economic advances and the raising ofliving standards generally - as also, by the spread of the Russian language at the expense of others. Thus an increasing proportion of some of the non-Russian nationalities record Russian as their native language, especially in the towns and among the younger age groups. The multi-national Soviet Union maintains strength and stability not as a result of an integrating national sentiment but thanks to its governmental system which concentrates political power, including the control of the police and armed forces, the press, radio and courts oflaw, in the Presidium, which is a group of twenty or less leaders of the Communist party who have managed to reach the top.

Above all, it makes an appeal to men's minds comparable to that of a religion and serves to unify a national group and to fire it towards common action, both within the state in relation to those of other nationalities and outside it in its dealings with other nations. Hence a state with a single or dominant national group tends to acquire a high degree of integration: indeed, 'in the national State the strongest organisation and loyalty areas coincide' [Schwarzenberger 1964]; a nationally homogeneous population, politically organised, shows a high degree of cohesion and can be capable of generating a virtually explosive power.

So also, the vast Soviet Union incorporates fifteen state units. Conclusion The bizarre pattern of states, which the political map represents, gives no hint of the political efforts of many different kinds which have combined to produce it. It is enough here to indicate the principal ways international boundaries have changed and provide, for a time at least, stability to the present map. First, we should note that in the past conquest was the major means by which states were forged and their territories expanded - or contracted.

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