Tag Archives: Japan

RGS-IBG New Content Alert: Early View Articles (16th June 2012)

The following Early View articles are now available on Wiley Online Library.

Original Articles

Visualising postcode data for urban analysis and planning: the Amsterdam City Monitor
Karin Pfeffer, Marinus C Deurloo and Els M Veldhuizen
Article first published online: 28 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-4762.2012.01096.x

Changing countries, changing climates: achieving thermal comfort through adaptation in everyday activities
Sara Fuller and Harriet Bulkeley
Article first published online: 28 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-4762.2012.01105.x

Rethinking community and public space from the margins: a study of community libraries in Bangalore’s slums
Ajit K Pyati and Ahmad M Kamal
Article first published online: 25 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-4762.2012.01100.x

Practising workplace geographies: embodied labour as method in human geography
Chris McMorran
Article first published online: 25 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-4762.2012.01101.x

Original Articles

Muslim geographies, violence and the antinomies of community in eastern Sri Lanka
Shahul Hasbullah and Benedikt Korf
Article first published online: 11 JUN 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-4959.2012.00470.x

Characterising urban sprawl on a local scale with accessibility measures
Jungyul Sohn, Songhyun Choi, Rebecca Lewis and Gerrit Knaap
Article first published online: 29 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-4959.2012.00468.x

The geodemographics of access and participation in Geography
Alex D Singleton
Article first published online: 29 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-4959.2012.00467.x

Original Articles

Towards geographies of ‘alternative’ education: a case study of UK home schooling families
Peter Kraftl
Article first published online: 8 JUN 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-5661.2012.00536.x

Boundary Crossings

Geographies of environmental restoration: a human geography critique of restored nature
Laura Smith
Article first published online: 8 JUN 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-5661.2012.00537.x

A policymaker’s puzzle, or how to cross the boundary from agent-based model to land-use policymaking?
Nick Green
Article first published online: 25 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-5661.2012.00532.x

The Geographical Journal Content Alert: Volume 178, Issue 1 (March 2012)

The latest issue of The Geographical Journal is available on Wiley Online Library.

Click past the break to view the full table of contents.

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Approaches to Russia’s North Pole Ambitions

The Soviet Nuclear Icebreaker 'Arktika' was the first surface vessel to reach the North Pole (1977). © Wikimedia Commons.

Benjamin Sacks

The open sea may be international waters under maritime law, but large swaths of the world’s oceans fall under the influence of major powers. The United States and Japan dominate Pacific affairs, thanks to their control over various island groups and the importance they attach to the Pacific economy. Similar situations exist for the United Kingdom in the South Atlantic and France in the western Indian Ocean. Several states contest the strategically important South China Sea. The Arctic Ocean has long been Russia’s backyard, home to historically prominent naval and merchant shipping lanes, vital fishing grounds, and home to some of its surviving indigenous peoples.

In 2007, however, Russia’s influence in the Arctic became a controversial issue when two submarines, Mir-1 and Mir-2 planted a Russian flag on the seabed below the North Pole. The Guardian reported that Moscow’s act ‘prompted ridicule and skepticism among other contenders…with Canada comparing it to a 15th century land grab’. The flag-planting was largely ceremonial, but it did indicate Russia’s ambitions to tap into the region’s vast suspected oil and rare earth minerals reserves.

Fortunately, Arctic tensions between local states have not escalated since the 2007 episode. But Russia’s behavior did pique the interests of a number of think-tanks and policy institutes, both intrigued and concerned about what Russian actions could mean for the future of international maritime law, as well as US-Russian and European-Russian relations. In ‘Polar Partners or Poles Apart?’, Leonhardt A S van Efferink (Royal Holloway, University of London) discussed the position of two important American institutes: the Brookings Institution and the Heritage Foundation. The article, published in the March 2012 issue of The Geographical Journal, compared the two institutes’ visions. While not choosing one side or the other, van Efferink suggested that the divergent futures could lead to either an ‘inclusionary’ or ‘exclusionary’ region (7).

The Brookings Institution, he argued, sought to remove the Cold War ethos from the Arctic control issue. While acknowledging the US Geological Survey’s 2008 estimate that the Arctic held roughly thirteen per cent of the planet’s undiscovered oil and thirty per cent of undiscovered natural gas (tremendously high figures, if true), the report stressed that collaboration, neutrality, and mutual good faith should be paramount for all parties involved (5-6).

The Heritage Foundation’s standpoint follows a so-called ‘neo-Realist’ perspective, unsurprising given its conservative roots. Their report holds that the United States should take action in the Arctic to limit Russia’s growing influence in the region and quell any designs for Russian Arctic oil production (7-8). Whichever course the Arctic issue eventually follows, it will be vital to international interests, not just the Arctic’s neighbours, that it be dealt with in a cautious, responsible, and ultimately beneficial manner.


Tom Parfitt, ‘Russia Plants Flag on North Pole Seabed‘, The Guardian, 2 August 2007.

Leonhardt A S van Efferink, ‘Commentary: Polar Partners or Poles Apart? On the Discourses of Two US Think Tanks on Russia’s Presences in the “High North“, The Geographical Journal 178.1 (Mar., 2012): 3-8.

The Geography of Elections

Casting a vote in AfghanistanBy Jenny Lunn

This year there have been elections on every continent. From the world’s largest democracy (India) to one of Europe’s smallest principalities (Liechtenstein), people have gone to the polls.

Apparently 99.98 per cent of all registered voters in North Korea took part in the parliamentary elections in March and – unsurprisingly – every single vote was cast for the Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland. Meanwhile in Japan’s general election in August, a landslide victory by the Democratic Party of Japan ousted the party which has been in power almost continuously since 1955.

Afghanistan held a presidential election in August, which was characterised by widespread electoral fraud, a media blackout and violence on polling day; since neither of the front-runners achieved the 50 per cent of the vote, a run-off is scheduled for November. On the other hand, the campaign for the German federal election in September was widely acclaimed as being exceptionally boring and returned Angela Merkel as Chancellor with the lowest turnout since the war.

But whether elections are predictable, disputed, dull or monumental, they are “a geographer’s delight” according to Johnston and Pattie in Geography Compass. Almost every aspect of elections can be the subject of geographical analysis. The political system of representation is a spatial arrangement. Campaigning strategies require knowledge of territoriality. The organisation and conduct of an election is a logistical exercise conducted simultaneously in many different places. The behaviour of voters is often connected to regional, cultural or religious identities. The data generated from votes cast can be cartographically represented.

Johnston and Pattie’s article reviews empirical work by geographers on British general elections over the last 60 years and conclude that “in the conduct and outcome of elections, geography matters”.

60% world

Read the article by Johnston and Pattie in Geography Compass (2009)

60% world

Link to a directory of election resources on the internet