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This major reference collection highlights the contested and diverse nature of geopolitics and charts the controversial intellectual history of the field. Coined by the Swedish author, Rudolf Kjelln, the term geopolitics highlights the role that territory, resources and boundaries play in shaping global political relations. The collection brings together work from international relations, political science, history, geography and law into a definitive collection that covers three dimensions of the geopolitical:

• ‘Classic geopolitics’ examines the impact of physical geography on political actions; • ‘Critical geopolitics’, a parallel strand to the classical tradition, challenges the notion of geography as a passive backdrop to international affairs and examines the socially constructed nature of geographical claims; • ‘Popular geopolitics’ looks at geopolitics as it has been presented outside of ...


Geopolitics is noted for its chequered intellectual history. Derided by a prominent American political geographer as intellectual poison, the relationship between academic geography and classical geopolitical thought is a troubled one (Bowman 1921, Kristof 1960, Alexander 1961, Hepple 1986a, Dodds and Atkinson 2000). This sense of unease, verging on distaste, lies with the alleged relationship between German geopolitical writers and Nazi Germany in the 1930s and 1940s (Bassin 1987). Accused of intellectually aiding and abetting fascist regimes in Italy and Japan (Takeuchi 1980), geopolitics was abandoned by a generation of post-1945 geographers in the United States and Europe including the Communist Bloc countries. The reaction to this association was less clear-cut in regions such as South America, where geopolitical theorising found favour with military ...

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