Volume 10, Issue 35 (Spring 2021 2021)                   Serd 2021, 10(35): 111-136 | Back to browse issues page

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Ghasemi Siani M, Ghasemi I. Diplomacy and the pattern of spatial distribution of activity and population in border villages Case: Zahak county. Serd. 2021; 10 (35) :111-136
URL: http://serd.khu.ac.ir/article-1-3671-en.html
1- Assistant Professor of Geography and Rural Planning, Academic Center for Education, Culture and Research, Tehran, Iran
2- Assistant Professor of Geography and Urban Planning, Academic Center for Education, Culture and Research, Tehran, Iran , i_ghasemi@yahoo.com
Abstract:   (584 Views)
Introduction
The government is the first and most powerful decision-maker and actor in the field of spatial structure. Spatial structure is an essential part of the battle for control and protection of individuals and society. In fact, spatial planning and land use management is the manifestation of the government authority in the form of setting rules and allocating resources and decision-making. Border areas are one of the most strategic areas for government intervention. These areas have special characteristics due to contact with the internal and external environment regarding the effect of diplomacy.  Therefore, planning with the aim of sustainable development of settlements, especially border areas, creates the requirement for spatial organization of rural areas so that macro and national issues, such as security issues can be organized more accurately and efficiently.
Zahak County is one of the special border areas in Sistan and Baluchestan Province, which is of special importance due to trade, the existence of a border market, Helmand river entrence and water diplomacy. The article aims to investigate the role of macro-management and diplomacy and its economic consequences on the structure and organization of space in Zahak County.  The present study explore political developments and decisions affect the economy and spatial structure (activity, communication and housing) of Zahak County, and also the spatial changes have occurred. For a deeper understanding of the developments in the study area, this article shows the political decisions taken at the national, regional and local levels, and seeks that what changes have made in the economic structures and functions of settlements? Furthermore, what the consequences of these changes for the space organization of the residential system are?

Methodology
The general approach to the study is an integrated approach, both quantitative and qualitative, and an emphasis on integration to overcome the shortcomings of each approach. Therefore, the research method is descriptive-analytical. In the theoretical part of the research, using a qualitative approach and a library method. The theories and principles governing the study were explained, and then the position of power and policy in regional planning was examined.
 In the quantitative and field studies section, 184 special questionnaires for village managers were distributed in all villages with more than 20 households in the county and 10 interviews were conducted with managers of government offices and organizations in Zahak County.

Discussion and conclusion
The results show that under the influence of diplomacy between the two border countries, with the closure of the border market and the creation of a border wall, the economy of rural areas and activity in the east of the county, which is based on trade and agriculture, has declined. In addition, due to unemployment and lack of economic activity in many villages, they were evacuated and disserted.  Moreover, ethnic and cultural diversity has paved the way for the instability of newly established settlements by pursuing a policy of rural relocation. With centralization and support for population centers, the pattern of communication flows in the city is a polarized pattern emphasizing Zahak and Zabol cities, which does not follow the pattern of networks and has provided the ground for instability and decline for villages outside the network.
This study showed that the spatial pattern of rural activity and economy is influenced by water and soil resources, which corresponds to national, regional and local diplomacy. In other words, the political and power relations between the governments of Iran and Afghanistan have affected agricultural activity and even industry and population dispersion.
The economic structure of the villages, which was based on agriculture, animal husbandry and horticulture, has currently changed into informal, illegal and smuggling jobs due to the developments and major national decisions at the county level.  Also, cross-border trade and commercial activities in the villages have been converted.  On the other hand, based on the mentioned developments, the county space organization has a polar nature in the center of the city towards Zabol City, hence incompatible with the network pattern. This structure has somehow caused instability, especially in small villages, and due to regional conditions in the future, these villages are subject to be evacuated.
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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Special
Received: 2021/06/15 | Accepted: 2021/04/30

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