Geopolitics

Personally, the easiest way for me to grasp the concept of geopolitics is through the idea of foreign policies. The common saying, “what a small world!” takes precedence here. International relations exist inevitably throughout our world, and relations are often both good and bad. Because bad international relations exist, it is important to acknowledge the understanding that war is “wrong, but necessary.” In the Falah article, hegemonic and non-hegemonic powers are seen as being prone to conflicts with each other. The United States exemplifies a hegemonic power, whereas Iraq exemplifies a non-hegemonic power. This differentiation of power in the international arena is described as being coercive and integrative forms of power. Hegemonic powers have the influence to make others do what they want or to sway them to behave as preferred. This article is extremely interesting because US hegemonic military actions are presented through the viewpoints of Arab newspapers. Furthermore, the article emphasizes how political cartoons are effective tools because they challenge hegemonic powers and foreign policies, and also a large public audience sees them. Being a U.S. citizen, it is obvious to me that the U.S. ascertains itself as a global policeman who internationally enforces a subjectively defined set of ‘universal standards.’ Sovereign states that are not hegemonic do not appreciate U.S. involvement in affairs in which the U.S. is not related. This unwarranted involvement in war is unjust; therefore, the war itself is unjust. Overall, it is suggested that hegemonic countries like the U.S. gain a better understanding of the world political map instead of trying to push a defined set of universal standards on sovereign states that do not identify with these standards.

Chapter 9 introduced many theoretical concepts of geopolitics that were not introduced in the article. However, the concept of ‘popular geopolitics’ is introduced, which is exactly what is discussed in the Falah article. Popular geopolitics is simply the presentation of geopolitical ideas through popular culture in forms such as comics or cinema. ‘Critical geopolitics’ is another concept introduced in the book chapter, and this concept is geopolitics as a conversational practice where politics are spatialized internationally, and therefore power distribution is questioned. Also, exploring the history of geopolitics is fundamental to the understanding of the linkage of the natural environment/resources to political potential. The exploitation of resources in geopolitics is easily exemplified through Western Europe’s colonization of the non-hegemonic countries. As a result, imperial politics revolves around geopolitics and spatial knowledge. The history of geopolitics has caused the inevitable and ignorant worldview of ‘us and them.’ Another way to describe this worldview historically is through the terminology of the West as being the progressive Occident and the East as being the retrogressive Orient. The strong spatial and cultural separation between us (the Occident) and them (the Orient) has led to the view of the Orient as being dangerous. It is more or less a common human phenomenon to feel similarities as being comfortable, but differences as menacing.

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