Human Geography, Interactive Study Questions: Chapter 09

Click on each question to check your answer.

1. Why are the boundaries between Italy and Switzerland changing?

Italy and Switzerland based their boundary on a watershed, marked by a glacier. Currently the glacier has melted enough that it has declined by 10 meters, thereby shifting the boundary between the countries.

2. What are some of the common features of those nations that are trying to separate from multinational states?

Typically, a nation trying to separate from a state has a depressed economy and speaks a different language. Attempts to separate can sometimes include terrorism or activities which can be considered terrorist activities. It is common that the state offers forms of devolution of power and more control to the nation wishing to separate.

3. What are the levels of centralization of government? Briefly describe each.

A unitary government is the most centralized form of government, and local governments are used by the central state to organize and maintain control over regions. Federal states are the least centralized, as one form of government is restricted from dictating to another. A compound unitary government devolves substantial powers to subnational governments, but not as much power is devolved as in the case of federal states.

4. What are civil wars linked to?

Civil wars tend to be linked to the control of natural resources, lack of development, and are sometimes associated with drug production and distribution.

5. Why did arctic sovereignty become an issue in 2005?

In 2005 the extraction of resources from the arctic became more feasible due to global warming. Resources contained there include diamond mining, oil exploration, pipeline development, and navigation.