GEOPOLITICS

Geopolitics can be simply defined as politics that are influenced by geographic and country boundaries that occur in the world.Painter and Jeffrey discuss how the recent “war on terror’ has made this idea of geopolitics to rise in political prominence, although it has been seen before in other country conflicts throughout the years. The idea of geopolitics was introduced in the late nineteenth century but began its popularity during first world war. To understand geopolitics, we must understand its classical foundations. As stated earlier, it started by Swedish scientists Kjellen in 1899, he based the idea thinking that it was beneficial for setting up the base of the state, its natural endowment, and its resources.He believed the physical geography of the state reflected its own power potential. Painter and Jeffrey go on to discuss the three main points that geopolitics gained from this early beginning. the first was the attention to the centrality of the state to geopolitics. This lead to the importance we place on the state as we do today, they focused on the threats that could happen in the future and so they started to promote this idea of international relations and geopolitics, a concept still very important in our world today. The second point was that this early geopolitics linked natural environment to political potential.The future power and wealth of a state could be linked directly to the resources that that state possessed, this lead to colonialism around the world from more developed countries to have access to more natural resources. As mentioned in the previous chapter, it was the result of this colonialism and imperialism that lead to the significant gap of economic wealth seen today in the world. The third point was the theories discussed by different geographers and scientists throughout the years. Painter and Jeffery discuss the different additions, and approaches to geopolitics from numerous geographers such as Sir Halford Mackinder who mapped threats facing Britain and institutionalized geography in the UK, Karl Haushofer who built on Mackinder and helped with the reorganization of Germany’s territories and colonies and helping the state territorial strategy, and lastly Isaiah Bowman who institutionalized geography here in the United States.The second half of the reading, Painter and Jeffrey discuss the role of critical geopolitics in society. Critical geopolitics is linked between 3 concepts: formal geopolitics- what we have associated with the classical foundation of geopolitics, practical geopolitics- ideas used by politicians during foreign policy, and popular politics- or the communication of geopolitic ideas through popular culture of the stae, cinema, and other multimedia platforms.Painter and Jeffrey go on to discuss the role that geopolitics played in the Cold War and the crisis in Yugoslavia, it is very similar to what Robert McNamara was discussing in the movie Fog of War (which whose blog i thought was due today). Geopolitics concerns ideas about the world that affect numerous states and persons involved. Critical geopolitis draws on a range of social and cultural theorists to explore the power of relations that help the production of international relation and geopolitical ideas.

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