Explanation of the Structural and Functional Characteristics of Geographical Buffer Spaces

Document Type : Original Article


1 - Full Professor of Political Geography, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

2 - Ph.D Student of Political Geography, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

3 - Full Professor of Geography, CNRS, Paris, France


conflict between rival powers, often by mutual or unilateral agreements, function as buffer spaces. These powers are then committed not to trespass on any spaces or take control of them. Buffers as geographical phenomena are as old as mankind, but there have been no academic studies on the subject so far, and only some brief scientific definitions of "buffer states" have been proposed by scientists without dealing with their nature, features and usages. On the other hand, "buffer geographical space" was first used by the authors of this study without prior inclusion in geographical, political and international studies.
Rivalry of two powers and existence of a weak space between them with strategic importance for them shifts their attention to this space and a rivalry emerges between them in controlling and maintaining it. Also, such spaces are zones for the incidence of overt and covert rivalries between these powers. Problems that countries, like Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Korea, Afghanistan and Cambodia in Asia, Poland and Belgium in Europe, Uruguay, Nicaragua, in Central America in the twentieth century, have faced or sometimes they still face. Current study, based on descriptive – analytical method, seeks to understand and explain the nature and structural-functional characteristics of buffer spaces.


Volume 8, Issue 28
December 2013
Pages 1-40
  • Receive Date: 25 June 2012
  • Revise Date: 24 August 2012
  • Accept Date: 05 December 2012
  • First Publish Date: 21 December 2012