GLOBAL ISSUES: CONFLICT and COOPERATION. What causes wars in the world today? What role does GEOGRAPHY play in world conflicts?. Conflict is a state of discord caused by the actual or perceived opposition of needs , values and interests . .
Basically, all types of international and regional conflicts can be categorized as developing from 1. ECONOMIC2. POLITICAL, or 3. CULTURAL causes.
Such resources might include fossil fuels or valuable minerals, good agricultural lands, water resources, even access to the sea for trading purposes.
People of a region or nation are proud of their heritage and believe they possess they right to takeover and rule another group of people just because they are powerful enough to do so!
Another type of “political” conflict might arise between those in power (control of the government) and citizens within the country who feel they have not been treated fairly.
Such citizens might have been denied political or civil rights, such as the right to vote, to speak freely, or to receive fair treatment in courts of law.
One ethnic or racial group may feel superior to others. This may lead to prejudice and discrimination against the minority ethic or racial group.
Over the past decades, Peru and Chile engaged in border disputes and lawsuits in international courts over fishing rights off the Pacific coastline.
Disputes are ongoing between Israel and its neighbors, Lebanon and Syria, over use of water resources from shared river and aquifer systems.
In 1989, university students led strikes and protests against the Chinese government to challenge that nation’s authoritarian Communist government policies banning free speech and open elections.
Two times in the 20th century, the nation of Germany invaded its European neighbors in an attempt to takeover their territory; these attempts led to World War I and II.
In the 1980s, the Soviet Union sent troops into Afghanistan, in an attempt to support a Communist government there, while the United States sent aid and military support of rebels against the Soviet-backed government.
In the mid 1990s, civil war in Rwanda broke out between two major ethnic groups, each side seeking power and committing horrible crimes against civilians.
Over the last half century, the nation of Israel has defended itself against several military attacks by its Arab neighbors who have opposed a Jewish state in the Middle East.
Religious and cultural differences between Muslim and Hindu citizens of India in the 1930s and 1940s led to the partitioning of India, creating the Muslim nations of Pakistan and Bangladesh. These two nations are still involved in border disputes.
In the 1970s and 1980s, violence broke our between Catholic and Protestants in Northern Ireland. Religious differences between the two sides extended to social, economic, and political discrimination, as well.
Several times in the 1980s and 1990s, civil war broke out within the former nation of Yugoslavia as ethnic groups sought to establish their own sovereign nations.
As you study about the regions of the world, analyze the causes of international conflict. Are they political, economic, and/or cultural causes?