Previous Chapter Chapter 46: Geopolitics

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Geopolitics developed as the geographical study of the strategic relations between nation-states. Although it had antecedents in works on warfare and on the geography of civilizations, geopolitics cohered around a social-Darwinist ideology in the late nineteenth century. Social Darwinists viewed society primarily as a biological community and argued that human groups, such as states, had to struggle with each other in order to survive. Four scholars were particularly important in framing the geopolitical imaginary: Mahan, Ratzel, Mackinder and Kjellén. These ideas achieved their greatest notoriety when they became part of the official ideology of Nazi imperialism and, although the term was shaded by this infamy, the ideology has returned as a powerful part of current US imperialist ideology (Kearns 2009).

Michel Foucault's work on the ...

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