Sample Paper on The Role of Political Geography in Conflict and Genocide

Political geography has played a role or led to the cases of modern genocide as witnessed in the cases of the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. The two aspects of political geography, ethnicity and culture, played a huge role in the genocides that were experienced in both Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia during the 1990s. Ethnicity is a part of individual and group identity that allows individuals to discern or distinctly identify the group to which they belong. Ethnic lines often coincide with geography resulting in conflicts that grow to become genocides. In the former Yugoslavia, there was a serious clash between geography and ethnicity during the 1990s. This led to wars and conflicts that saw the Serbian Army eliminate Croats and Bosnians (Denich 375). A major antecedent to the genocide was the belief that Bosnians and Croats encroached land belonging to Serbians (Blacksell 81). The outcome was the cleansing of the Bosnian and Croat ethnicities that involved the execution of potential leaders, community leaders, and the entire male population.

Political geography also played a role in the Rwandan genocide in the 1990s given the clash between geographic and ethnic lines. There was a major ethnic animosity between the two major ethnicities in the country, the Tutsi and Hutu. The ethnic tensions and differences sparked an incident involving the shooting down of an airplane of the then Hutu president under the orders of Tutsi leaders led by the current president Paul Kagame (Blacksell 84).

In the two incidences above, the role of political googology is that the majority population tend to take control of specific geographical locations that they deem favourable. The majority then end up punishing the minority for seeking control or trespassing into the favourable geographic locations. This applies to the potential for genocide today as the aspect of ethnicity is still evident and ethnic majorities tend to take control of geographic relations and resources at the expense of the ethnic minorities.



Works Cited

Blacksell, Mark. Political Geography. London: Routledge, 2006.

Denich, Bette. “Dismembering Yugoslavia: nationalist ideologies and the symbolic revival of genocide.” American ethnologist 21.2 (1994): 367-390.