Part C. Human and Physical Influences on Global Interactions

Conceptual Understanding:

Key Question: How do political, technological and physical processes influence global interactions?

Political factors that affect global interactions:
• multi-governmental organisations (MGOs) and free trade zones
• economic migration controls and rules

Our “shrinking world” and the forces driving technological innovation:
• changing global data flow patterns and trends
• transport developments over time
• patterns and trends in communication infrastructure and use

The influence of the physical environment on global interactions:
• natural resource availability
• the potentially limiting effect of geographic isolation, at varying scales

​Synthesis, evaluation and skills opportunities
How processes that influence spatial interactions are interlinked in complex ways that accelerate globalization

The relative importance of different flows, and the suitability of different methods for graphically representing flows and interactions

Monday 16 January 2023

Political factors that affect global interactions…

Multi Governmental Organisations – Case Study EU 

Task 1. Using the video below, create a timeline of the major developments in the creation of the EU from 1950 to the present day. Include recent developments on Brexit. 

A History of the EU

Task 2. Outline the main functions of the European Union by watching the video below.

The EU Explained

Task 3. Sort out the cards into advantages and disadvantages of the EU. Note down what you feel to be the top four advantages and disadvantages. Make sure you can explain why.

Task 4. Watch the video below. Make notes on what Free Trade Zone (FTZ) is and how this differs to a Free Trade Area and a Customs Union. 

What is the EU Free Trade Area?

Task 5. Study the diagram below and define the following:

  • The Schengen Area
  • The Council of Europe
  • The European Free Trade Association
  • The European Economic Area
  • The Eurozone
Supranational European Bodies

Task 6. Read the following information and use it to answer this question: “Explain how the EU ensures free trade within its membership.” Make references to products and services and the increasing importance of the internet.

How does the European Union impact the flow of goods?
The EU has established a single market across the territory of all its members.
The single market involves the free circulation of goods, capital, people and services within the EU.
Companies can sell their products anywhere in the member states and consumers can buy where they want with no penalty. No customs are levied on goods traveling within the EU customs union and (unlike a free trade area) members of the customs union impose a common external tariff on all goods entering the union.
Once goods have been admitted into the market they cannot be subjected to customs duties, discriminatory taxes or import quotas, as they travel internally.
The EU is working to improve cross-border infrastructure within the EU, for example through the TransEuropean Networks. Projects include the Channel Tunnel, LGV Est, the Fréjus Rail Tunnel, the Öresund Bridge, the Brenner Base Tunnel and the Strait of Messina Bridge.

How does the European Union impact the flow of capital?
Currencies and capital can flow freely between the member states and European citizens can use financial services in any member state.
Free movement of capital is intended to permit movement of investments such as property purchases and buying of shares between countries.
Free movement of capital is an essential condition for the proper functioning of the Single Market. It enables a better allocation of resources within the EU, facilitates trade across borders, favours workers mobility, and makes it easier for businesses to raise the money they need to start and grow.

How does the European Union impact the flow of labour?
Citizens of the EU member states can live and work in any other country and their professional qualifications should be recognised.
With the lifting of most internal border controls, EU citizen can move as freely around Europe as we can within a Member State.
The Schengen Area comprises the territories of twenty-five European countries that have implemented the Schengen Agreement.
Implementing the Schengen rules involves eliminating border controls with other Schengen members while simultaneously strengthening border controls with non-member states.
The UK declined to join Schengen Convention elements related to passport control, one argument being that, for an island, frontier controls are a better and less intrusive way to prevent illegal immigration than other measures, such as identity cards, residence permits, and registration with the police, which are appropriate for countries with “extensive and permeable land borders”.

Monday 23 January 2023

Economic migration controls and rules…

Define: Economic Migrant

An economic migrant is someone who emigrates from one region to another to seek an improvement in living standards because the living conditions or job opportunities in the migrant’s own region are not sufficient.

In your lifetime you have been witness to many well documented economic migrations. The traditional case study of Mexican migrants into the USA is a famous example and the new detention centres and separation policy introduced by the previous Trump administration have added new dimensions to the issues.

We have also seen movements of millions of people from the Middle East (Syria) and North Africa displaced by war and political unrest and seeking a new life and economic prosperity in the European Union. Germany has been a big recipient country with over 1,000,000 migrants arriving in 2016 alone. Other flows exist such as European workers to Australia to take advantage of a strong economy, higher quality of life and looking to escape from austerity. 

For this brief study, we will look at economic migration controls and rules on the Mexico – USA border and further afield. 

Task 1. Background Research – Take notes on the Vox documentary video below. Focus on:

1. Why people move.
2. How they move.
3. The dangers to migrants.
4. Explain the issues at the northern and southern Mexican borders. 
5. How do the USA apply pressure on Mexico to stop the flow & why does Mexico comply? 

Now watch the Wall Street Journal video below on the construction of the USA / Mexico border wall.

6. Explain the thinking behind the construction of the Border wall.
7. What are the limitations of such a scheme? 

Read this White House press release from January 2021:

8. Explain briefly what the President Biden is doing in relation to the border wall. 

Vox | Borders
WSJ | Trump’s Border Wall

Assessment: Graphical Analysis

Figure 1. Annual Migration from Mexico to the USA. Figure 2. Mexican-Born Population in the USA
Figure 3. Mexican workers by employment sector in the USA
Figure 4. Infographic


  1. Using Figure 1, describe the pattern of annual migration from Mexico to the United States since 1991. (3 marks)
  2. Why does the flow decrease rapidly in 2001, 2002 & 2003? (1 mark)
  3. Using Figure 2, describe the trend in the Mexican born population in the USA. (3 marks)
  4. What does this suggest is now happening? (1 mark)
  5. Using Figure 3, describe the changes from 1993 to 2007. (3 marks)
  6. Suggest reasons for the three sectors that employ the highest proportion of Mexican labour. (3 marks)
  7. Using Figure 4, what is the total percentage increase of apprehensions at the USA-Mexico border and the Mexican Southern border? (1 mark)
  8. What does this infographic tell us about the changes in migration that have taken place since 2010 to 2014? (3 marks)
  9. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of this infographic? (6 marks)

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