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A political geography of Latin America by Jonathan R. Barton

By Jonathan R. Barton

The geographical regions and peoples of South and relevant the United States, Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, that jointly shape the political countryside of Latin the United States, surround quite a lot of societies, politics and economies. this article exposes the variations among locations, areas and nations, members and societies, providing a useful perception into the topics of political and financial improvement, and offers a consultant to figuring out energy and house family. From the Antarctic to the tropical jungles, the coastal groups to the highland villages, the mega-cities to remoted rural life, the political geographies of lives, localities, towns and rurality are too subtle to be subjected to generalizations. Adopting a severe human geography standpoint, Jonathon Barton offers an figuring out of similarities, distinction and complex human geographies.

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Within the Andean societies for example, northern Andean groups did not have highly developed systems of neighbourhood cooperation in AD1000 whereas central Andean groups had relatively sophisticated institutions of cooperation (Hocquenghem, 1991). While attempting to avoid the trap of geographical determinism, it is clear that distinct social groups established different systems of production and reproduction according to their geographical circumstances. This explains the wide variations in pre-Columbian socio-economic orders and organisation, and also the contemporary distinctions between indigenous groups.

Territorial studies in their widest sense provide the most common connection with political geography within contemporary geographical studies. These territorial studies programmes are often oriented towards urban and regional planning. For example, in Cuba after the revolution in 1959 geographers played key roles in local and regional spatial organisation within institutes of physical planning and geography (Luzón, 1987–88). The grounding for political geography in particular resulted from the influence of key individuals such as von Humboldt and the US geographer Bowman, also the influence of European geopolitical training within military training academies.

There has been a storm in ‘the moribund backwater’ in which Berry (1969) noted that political geography had been stagnating, which has prompted the desire to renegotiate the academic space of geopolitics that had been controlled by international relations. This renegotiation has been especially significant since 1989, as political geography has returned to centre stage as a forum for analyses of the fluidity of the world order in terms of its spatial dimensions (Dodds, 1994). Importantly, geopolitics as a term has returned to popular use as a tool for explaining rapid developments in nation-state fragmentation and struggles for regional autonomy, such as in Eastern Europe and the Balkans.

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