Early 20th Century Geopolitical Theories Essay

Early 20th Century Geopolitical Theories Essay

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Geopolitics has been a major obsession of nation-s¬tates throughout history and even today. The strategies that nation-states use to assert their position in relation to other states are complex and changing with the new nature of states and power in the World. Mackinder originally formulated one of the most crucial geopolitical models in order to capture the way in which states vie for power over space, which has seen renewed relevance as Afghanistan continues to be at the heart of a world power struggle. Whilst organic theories of how nation-states behave and exist in a manner similar to that of organism(relating to geopolitical actions and ambitions) were penned by early German writers such as Ratzel and Haushofer(though have existed before this), that have tended to be adopted by authoritarian regimes and have been extended to the utilisation of repression. These models can be seen to work in conjunction with one another and are at the backbone of geopolitical theory and can be widely applied. However they were originally ideas that were conceived with a very different world in mind when compared with the present. So it would be interesting to see whether the modern nation states in the face of globalisation (whereby the states’ own role have been redefined) still adhere to these theoretical frameworks in regard to how they conduct geopolitical activity.
The Organic State Theory
Since antiquity the idea of a state has been likened to an organism, just as an organism functions as the sum of several organism and cells concerned with individual functions, as does the state. Bluntschli, a 19th century Swiss politician/political writer summarised these notions in the first chapter on his book regarding the state, ‘T...

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...udy in the politics of reconstruction. (p. 106). London : Constable and Company, ltd. DOI: Democratic ideals and reality; a study in the politics of reconstruction
Rumer, B. (2002). The powers in central asia. Survival, 44(3), 57-68. Retrieved from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00396330212331343422
Samokhvalov, V. (2007). Relations in the russia-ukraine- eu triangle: ‘zero-sum game’ or not?. Occasional Paper, 68(01), Retrieved from http://ftp.infoeuropa.eurocid.pt/database/000038001-000039000/000038996.pdf
Smith, W. (1980). Friedrich ratzel and the origins of lebensraum. German Studies Review¬ , 3(1), 51-68. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/1429483
Tunander, O. (2001). Swedish-german geopolitics for a new century: Rudolf kjellén's ‘the state as a living organism’ . Review of International Studies, 27, 451. doi: 10.1017/S026021050100451X

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