Chapter One Exploring Twenty-First-Century World Politics Important Aspects of World Politics global political system Cold War September 11, 2001--a transforming event? states in the international system anarchy in the international system cycles of world politics
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M A P 1 . 1
This Mercator projection, named for the Flemish cartographer Gerard Mercator, was popular in sixteenth-century Europe and presents a classic Eurocentric view of the world. It mapped the Earth without distorting direction, making it useful for navigators. However, distances were deceptive, placing Europe at the center of the world and exaggerating the continent’s importance relative to other landmasses. Europe appears larger than South America, which is twice Europe’s size, and two-thirds of the map is used to represent the northern half of the world and only one-third the southern half. Because lines of longitude were represented as parallel rather
than convergent, this projection also greatly exaggerates the size of Greenland and Antarctica.
M A P 1 . 2
In the Peter’s projection, each landmass appears in correct proportion in relation to all others, but it distorts the shape and position of the earth’s landmasses. In contrast with most geographic representations, it draws attention to the less-developed countries of the Global South, where more than three-quarters of the world’s population lives today.
M A P 1 . 3
The orthographic projection, centering on the mid-Atlantic, conveys some sense of the curvature of the Earth by using rounded edges. The sizes and shapes of continents toward the outer edges of the circle are distorted to give a sense of spherical perspective.