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Lecture 2

Lecture 2 - The Three Ages of Geopolitics.docx

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Geography 2142A/B
Mireya Folch- Serra

The Three Ages of Geopolitics What is Geopolitics? • The study of concepts such as power, territory and conflict • The analysis of foreign policy – wars over territory, ethnic cleansing, civil wars and the “war of terrorism” • The study of the global and cold wars Basic Geographical Notions Relevant to Geopolitics • Location – Distance • Absolute Location – Relative Location • Distribution – Diffusion • Place – Region • Local/Global – International Relations • Local Conflicts – International Conflicts • Foreign Policy – Internal Affairs • Nation (within countries) – Nation States (countries) Imperialism and War • Geography and Geopolitics rationalize/aid imperialism and war because it is the science of mapping and imperialism requires the knowledge of knowing where places are in the world • Rise of geopolitics from the last quarter of the 19 century (age of imperialism) • Geopolitics has evolved from classical to critical in the 20 century • Development of Geopolitics: Organic State/Geostrategic Topics of Classical Geopolitics • Power of the heartland (central European landmass) • Principles in the Monroe Doctrine (1823) = essentially, was an established concept by the U.S. that the Western Hemisphere would be free from European intervention. Justified as protecting the Western Hemisphere from colonialism and imperialism which they considered evil. • Division of the globe into continental blocs (pan-region) • Importance of natural frontiers to the security of a country Geopolitics Modalities 1. Military = Key element of German geopolitics in 1940s a. Policies of genocide, racism and expansionism b. US geopolitics has been closely tied to military examination of battle fields, technology (satellites/GIS) and tactics c. Ex. Military industrial Complex (Eisenhower) 2. Foreign Policy a. Background study of places, people, resource distribution to provide data for foreign policy choices b. The consequent formation of spatially based policies designed to achieve specific objectives/resources 3. Applied Political Geography a. Every country has its own view of other countries around the world for their own purpose/interests b. Sometimes there is overlap like the US strategy of containment during the Cold War which was shared by other Western allies 4. Critical Geopolitics a. An examination of language and discourse b. Content analysis of speeches, documents, treaties, maps and memoirs 4 Eras of Geopolitics 1. 1870-1920 Classical Geopolitics a. General Principles set out by Friedrich Ratzel in Germany b. Alfred T. Mahan in the United States c. Halford J. Mackinder in the UK d. Rudolf Kjellen in Sweden e. Notions = organic theory of state, sea power vs. land power, lebensraum and the heartland model 2. 1920-1945 Fascist and Counter Fascist Geopolitics a. Nazi statecraft b. Classical themes adapted by fascist thinkers c. Fierce rivalry for global domination Fascism • Originated by Itali
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