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DG6 Geopolitcs

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DG6 Geopolitcs

  1. 1. Theme “Major International Relations Theories” February 26th , 2015 Anna A. Dekalchuk, Lecturer at the Department of Applied Politics, Higher School of Economics – St. Petersburg DG 6. Geopolitics and IR theories
  2. 2. DG outline 1. 8-minute test 1. What is geopolitics? 1. Stages of geopolitics development 1. Stage 1 1. Stage 2 1. Stage 3 1. Stage 4 1. Stage 5
  3. 3. 1. Multiple Choice Test 8 minutes, 10 questions, only one correct answer per question
  4. 4. 2. What is geopolitics? GEOPOLITICS IS… •the theory of the state as a geographical organism or phenomenon in space (Rudolph Kjellen, 1916). •the new national science of the state,… a doctrine on the spatial determinism of all political processes, based on the broad foundations of geography, especially of political geography (Karl Haushofer). •a dogma,… the faith that the state is inherently entitled to its place in the sun (Derwent Whittlesey, 1939). •geography utilized for particular purposes that lie beyond the pursuit of knowledge (Richard Hartshorne, 1939).
  5. 5. 2. What is geopolitics? GEOPOLITICS IS… •a combined study of human geography and applied political science… dating back to Aristotle, Montesquieu and Kant (Edmund Walsh, 1944). •the study of IR from a spatial or geographical perspective (Geoffrey Parker, 1998). •examination of the geographical assumptions, designations and understandings that enter the making of world politics (John Agnew, 1985).
  6. 6. 2. What is geopolitics? GEOPOLITICS IS… •not having a singular, all-encompassing meaning or identity… [I]t is discourse, a culturally and politically varied way of describing, representing and writing about geography and international politics (Gearold O’Tuathail, 1998). •a mode of analysis, relating diversity in content and scale of geographical settings to exercise of political power, and identifying spatial framework though which power flows. Where do these definitions differ? What definition do you like the most?
  7. 7. 3. Stages of modern geopolitcs STAGE 1. THE RACE FOR IMPERIAL HEGEMONY STAGE 2. GERMAN GEOPOLITIK STAGE 3. AMERICAN GEOPOLITICS STAGE 4. THE COLD WAR-STATE-CENTRISM VS. UNIVERSALISM STAGE 5. POST COLD-WAR PERIOD
  8. 8. 4. STAGE 1 Alfred Mahan (1849-1914) Halford Mackinder (1861-1947) Isaiah Bowman (1878-1949) Friedrich Ratzel (1844-1904) Rudolph Kjellen (1864-1922) influenced by their era of intense nationalism, state expansionism, and overseas empire building as well as by social Darwinism What is social Darwinism? Coined the term in 1899
  9. 9. 4. STAGE 1 Friedrich Ratzel (1844-1904) o Of German origin. o His works present a scientific basis for states expansionist doctrines (take the rise of Germany at that time into account). o A state as an organism fixed in the soil whose spirit derives from mankind’s ties to the land. o Focus on space and location. o Space is dependent upon and contributing to the political character of groups living in the space. o Location provides space with its uniqueness. o Frontiers are the “skins” or peripheral organs of states, reflecting growth and decline. o When correlated with continental areas organized under a single government, states generate vast political power.
  10. 10. 4. STAGE 1 Halford Mackinder (1861-1947) o Of British origin. o His works reflect his concern over supremacy of transcontinental rail over ships (UK) in terms of time and reach (=> the rise of Eurasian continental states as a threat to British world hegemony). o Initially focus on advantages of centrality of place and efficient movement of ideas, goods and people. o The world as a closed system => nothing could be altered without changing the balance of all, and rule of the world still rested upon force, notwithstanding the juridical assumptions of equality among sovereign states. o The league of Nations and the balance of power. o He was strongly committed to cooperation among states, democratization of the empire into a Commonwealth of Nations, and preservation of small states.
  11. 11. 4. STAGE 1 Halford Mackinder (1861-1947) o 1904: the “Pivot Area” is the inner area of Eurasia, characterized by interior or polar drainage and unreachable for sea powers. o 1904: The rule of the heart of the world’s greatest landmass could become the basis for world domination (Russia+Germany, or China vs. Maritime world). o 1919: enlarged his map to include Eastern Europe as Inner Eurasia’s strategic annex. o 1919: “Who rules Eastern Europe commands the Heartland: Who rules the Heartland commands World-Island: Who rules World- Island commands the world”. o 1919: Mitteleuropa is central and is as accessible to Germany as it is to Russia. o 1943: five balancing units within the world system (North Atlantic – Midland Ocean; Asian Heartland powers; Monsoonal lands of India and China; South Atlantic; Mantle of Vacancies – from Sahara to Central Asia). o 1943: discarded his 1919 dictum.
  12. 12. 4. STAGE 1 Halford Mackinder’s Pivot Area, 1904
  13. 13. 4. STAGE 1 Halford Mackinder’s Hearltand, 1919
  14. 14. 4. STAGE 1 Alfred Mahan (1849-1914) o Of American origin. o His works reflect his idea that sea movement is superior to land movement, however, he also sees Eurasia as the most important component of the northern land hemisphere (and Russia in particular). o Critical zone of conflict is between 30th and 40th parallels in Asia, where Russian land power and British sea power met (so, Anglo- American alliance). o The US lay within the Western half of the twofold global framework – the Oriental (Asian) being the other half. o He promoted the idea of the end of the US isolationism.
  15. 15. 4. STAGE 1 Isaiah Bowman (1878-1949) o Of American origin. o He was Woodrow Wilson policy adviser. o The League of Nations is not in itself the framework for a new world => o There is a need for different leagues emerging for functional purposes, each designed to advance cooperation plans that would reduce the causes for international trouble (there is a need for coordinated international action). o Absolutely functional logic as David Mitrani had.
  16. 16. 5. STAGE 2 Karl Haushofer (1869-1946) Rudolph Hess
  17. 17. 5. STAGE 2 Karl Haushofer (1869-1946) o Of German origin. o Journal for Geopolitics (Zeitschrift fur Geopolitik, 1924-1939) and the Institute for Geopolitics at the University of Munich. o Idea was to undo Versailles by restoring the lost territories and rebuilding Germany as a world power (and no pretense of objectivity). o Not the original thinker (Ratzel, Kjellen, Mackinder). o Lebensraum (living space) and autarchy – slogans for conflicts and total war. o Borrowed ideas: Ratzel’s large states, Mackinder’s World-Island, and panregions. o Doctrines blut und boden (blood and soil) and rasse and raum (race and space) – Nazi ideology foundations. o Close links to Rudolph Hess (Hitler’s Deputy Fuhrer).
  18. 18. 6. STAGE 3 George RennerNicholas Spykman (1893-1943) Alexander de Seversky (1894-1974) Attention to the North pole and air lanesRimland theory (Eurasian coastal lands): “Who controls the Rimland rules Eurasia; who rules Eurasia controls the destinies of the world”
  19. 19. 7. STAGE 4: state-centrism William Bullit (1891-1967) “Domino theory” (1947) Henry Kissenger (born 1923) Balance-of-power linkage George Kennan (1904-2005) “The long telegram” 1946 => the Truman doctrine 1947 and the policy of containment Zbigniew Brzezinski (born 1928) “Linchpin” states & “Eurasian chessboard” COMES FROM POLITICS AND POLITICAL SCIENCE
  20. 20. 7. STAGE 4: universalism THREE APPROACHES TO UNIVERSALISTIC GEOPOLITCS: o Polycentric, international power system (S. B. Cohen, G.R. Chrone); o Unitary, economically based world sysstem (P. Taylor); o Environmental and socially ordered geopolitics (Y. LaCoste). COMES FROM POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY
  21. 21. 8. STAGE 5: post-cold war EARLY 90S: o Francis Fukuyama’s ideas over universal, homogeneous world; o American politicians-drive geopolitics of US global hegemony; o Robert Kaplan’s geopolitics of anarchy (North-South divide and the “Last map”). CONTEMPORARY GEOPOLITICS: o Brzezinski’s Chessboard (politics-driven state-centric disciple); o Huntington’s Clash of civilizations (politics-driven state-centric disciple); o Critical geopolitics of Agnew and O’Tuathail (geography-driven universalistic disciple).

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