Parag Khanna Redraws the World [TED Talk]

TED Talks are an inspiring way to pass the lunching hour, and this time it was no different. I treated myself to an interesting talk by author and geopolitical expert Parag Khanna.

Maps have always been a lite hobby of mine. I have spent hours looking at the names of hard-to-pronounce places and comparing the distances between my favourite destinations. However, Khanna does something interesting and rather different in this talk. He looks at how historical factors have affected the borders of today and whether they can be shifted if not constrained by politics.

There is an especially interesting point in this talk where he stretches the border of Northern China to encompass all of Mongolia and parts of Siberian Russia, to compensate for the mass migration that is taken place in that region. The porous nature of some borders have made political markings obsolete. Similarly, the growth of supra-national entities (such as the EU) ensures that borders have become far more elastic than they were just a few decades ago.

Khanna concludes by saying that the development of infrastructure will ultimately be the defining factor in how countries will shape their borders. For example a pipeline through Azerbaijan would increase the status of this otherwise political lightweight.

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