GEOGRAPHY AND WORLD POLITICS: “GREAT POWERS AND GEOPOLITICAL CHANGE”

Claremont Institute, California, on June 12, 2013, published an article by professor Colin Dueck on a number of recent books on geopolitics. Excerpts below:

[Dueck noted that] becoming the world’s only superpower can cause strange dreams. In the case of the United States, which achieved this status over 20 years ago, many who should know better have dreamed that economic interdependence, multilateral institutions, technological change, global democratization, the rise of non-state actors—even Barack Obama’s charming personality—will have a transformational effect on world affairs, rendering irrelevant the geopolitics underlying American national security. But geopolitical competition between major world powers obviously continues, and these dreams, which are recognizably liberal dreams, remain delusive and dangerous.

… geographical facts, [that influence international relations], include natural features, such as rivers, mountains, and oceans along with elements of human and political geography, such as national boundaries, trade networks, and concentrations of economic or military power. To try to make foreign policy while closing one’s eyes to geopolitical factors in world politics is like trying to play chess without noticing the configuration of the board, and the powers of the pieces.

A number of excellent recent books show the continued relevance of classical geopolitical insights today. Jakub Grygiel’s Great Powers and Geopolitical Change (2006) uses historical case studies from the 16th century to show that states prosper or decline depending on whether they match their foreign policies to underlying geopolitical realities.

Comment: Comments of Colin Dueck on other geopolitical books will be published here during the coming months.

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One Response to “GEOGRAPHY AND WORLD POLITICS: “GREAT POWERS AND GEOPOLITICAL CHANGE””

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