Introduction to Geopolitics is extensively illustrated with diagrams, maps, and photographs. Reading this book will provide a deeper and critical. This new updated edition of Introduction to Geopolitics presents the overarching themes of geopolitical structures and agents in an engaging. Introduction to geopolitics / Colin Flint Flint, Colin, and concise introductory textbook guides students through their first engagement with geopolitics.

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Skip to main content. Log In Sign Up. The overarching theme of 7 geopolitical structures introductiob and geopolitical agents countries, national groups, 8 individuals, etc.

Introduction to Geopolitics

Reading this book will provide a deeper and critical understanding of current 30 affairs and facilitate access to higher level course work and essays on geopolitics. His flknt research interests include geopolitics and hate groups. World-Economy, Nation-State, and Locality No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilized in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any coln storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers.

Includes bibliographical references and index. What is it good for. Russian Caucasus 6. Oslo II Agreement 6. Palestinian villages and Fliint settlements 6. I am very grateful for their skill, innovation, and patience. Permission to publish Figure 7. The quotation from the Sinews of Peace speech by Winston S. The diligence and hard work of Zoe Kruze at Routledge was essential for the successful completion of this project. Last, but by no means least, thank you to all the students from the many classes of GEOG The Geography of International Affairs I had the pleasure and privilege to volin during my time at Penn State.

You were the inspiration and motivation for this book. Every effort has been made to obtain permission to reproduce copyright material. Any omissions brought to our attention will be remedied in future editions. The classes and the book aim 4 to help colij gain a greater understanding of current events by placing them in a bigger 51 picture.

I try to achieve this goal by introducing one overarching framework and a 6 number of different theoretical perspectives. The overarching framework is one of struc- 7 ture and agency, or, put simply, that people and groups of people try to achieve particular 8 goals within particular situations.

My goal has been to provide an introduction to geopolitics. The relatively recent upsurge geopoliticx academic interest in geopolitics has produced many excellent books designed for graduate students, academics, professionals, and advanced undergraduates. This book provides an examination of geopolitics for students at the beginning of their under- graduate degrees, and so provides a stepping-stone to more theoretical approaches.

My aim is to ease and promote access to the more advanced books so that more students and professionals are equipped with a critical understanding of geopolitics. I feel lucky and privileged to have had the opportunity to teach and write on these topics. I wish you the best in your pursuit of greater understanding of our troubled world and hope that this book is of some help to you.

After reading this book you will: Political scientists study politics, sociologists study society, 40 etc. However, a university geography department is likely to house an eclectic bunch 1 of academics studying anything from glaciers and global climate change, to globaliza- 2 tion, urbanization, or identity politics.

The shared trait is the perspective used to analyze 3 the topic, and not the topic itself. Geographers examine the world through a geographic 4 or spatial perspective, offering new insight in related disciplines.

So what is a geographic perspective? In the modern history of the discipline, domin- ant views of what the particular perspective should be have come and gone. In the middle of the twentieth century there was an emphasis upon geography as a description and synthesis of the physical and social aspects of a region. Later, many geographers adopted a mathematical understanding of spatial relationships, such as the geographic location of cities and their interaction.


Today, human geography is not dominated by one particular vision but many theoretical perspectives, from neo-classical economics through Marxism, feminism, and into post-colonialism, and different forms of post- modernism. Furthermore, it would also be hard to think of a social or physical issue that is not being addressed by contemporary geography see Hubbard et al.

Political geographers are especially interested, among other things, in topics such as how the city of Pyongyang, for example, is organized to allow for political control in a totalitarian country. However, places whether neighborhoods or countries are not viewed as isolated units that can only be understood through what happens within them.

Are they magnets of in-migration or sources of out-migration? Are investors of global capital seeking to put their money in a particular place, or are jobs being relocated to other parts of the world? Is a place a site for drug production, such as areas of Afghan- istan, or the venue for illegal drug use, such as suburban areas of the United States or Europe? Understanding a place requires analyzing how its uniqueness is produced through a combination of physical, social, economic, and political attributes—and how those attributes are partially a product of connections to other places, near and far.

The term space is more abstract than place. The banality of these examples only goes to show that our under- 1 standing of how society is spatially organized is so embedded within our perceptions 2 that we act within sub-conscious geographical imaginations.

The maps display two spatial organiza- 9 tions of power relations. The large map illustrates the spaces of independent countries 20 or states that were created after the decline of the colonial control imposed by European 1 powers in the nineteenth century. These spaces were 4 a product of two sets of power relations: The map 6 of countries is a different spatial organization of power in Africa, the post-colonial estab- 7 lishment of independent African countries.

However, focusing on the spaces of independent 30 countries across the continent obscures other power relations, especially those of gender, 1 race, and class relations within the countries.

As we shall see, the scale at which we 2 make our observations highlights some political relations and obscures others. The three 3 smaller maps depict the struggle of Africans to end white-rule of their countries after 4 the end of the colonial period. It shows the racialized spaces of political control, the 51 areas of Africa in which the descendants of European settlers were able to maintain 6 control, and how these spaces of white control have shrunk to nothing now given the 7 end of apartheid in South Africa.

Life-chances are still very much determined by where one is born and grows up. The life expectancy in the state of Delaware, for example, is similar to the national average in Chile. Places are the sites of employment, education, and conversation. Since places are unique they will produce a mosaic of experiences and understandings. The key industries 2 and sources of employment within a place are a good measure of location—whether it 3 is a steel mill, coal mine, military base, or tourist resort.

Of course, these are simplistic 4 examples, and usually places will be a combination of different functions—perhaps 5 complementing each other or existing together uneasily. Dover, England is an example 6 where its function as a ferry port has promoted another function, the point of entry for 7 refugees. We will be referring back to these features and developing 51 them as we go through this chapter.

I grew up near Dover, England. It is a major ferry port connecting the 8 British Isles to the European Continent. The landscape of Dover is dominated by Dover castle situated on the cliffs, the castle keep dates 40 from Norman times, and within the grounds are the ruins of a Roman lighthouse.

In the past few years the town has experienced the presence 3 of refugees from eastern and southeastern Europe. People operate as parts of groups: In combination, these institutions form the social life of a particular place.


On the other hand, insurgents in Ramallah were main- tained by Sunni religious institutions. Religious allegiance, maintained by certain Islamic institutions, facilitated the mobilization of insurgent groups in these places.

The Kurdish and Shia regions of Iraq wanted more regional autonomy, while the minority Sunni Arabs feared that such a political organization of space would leave them marginalized. In Dover, the presence of refugees has become an important part of local politics, provoking concerns that activity by far-right political groups and parties may increase. The third aspect of place is sense of place.

People are guided in their actions by particular identities that say who they are and what geopolitlcs can and cannot, should and should not, do.

Belonging to a particular ethnic group socializes people into particular expectations and life-chances.

Introduction to geopolitics | Colin Flint –

They would then wait for and loot the cargo that washed ashore. Wasting no time on 5 pleasantries, he threw himself down in a chair and announced that the 6 soldiers had gone berserk. This was in earlybefore the Israeli pull- 7 back. Just before midnight, the man said, twenty or thirty people in the 8 al-Boureij refugee camp had been forced out of their homes.

Furious, the man said that someone was made to write 4 slogans in Arabic on the wall. However, the Amsterdam newspaper 4 Trouw argued that such reports were overblown and reported the Prime Minister Jan- Peter Balkenende as saying: Free expression of opinion, freedom of religion, and other basic rights are the foundation stones of our state.

All quotes from The Week, November 26,p. Racialist and homophobic groups are extreme examples of the politics of place.

An alternative view of society emphasizes cosmopolitanism—attachment to no particular place. Perhaps more worthy of our attention is the role of diasporas—networks of migrants who establish connections between places across the globe. A good example is the Chinese community in Vancouver, Canada that has facilitated massive amounts of investment by Chinese capitalists large and small in the real estate economy of British Columbia. The second author we will discuss is Doreen Massey.

For Massey, places are networks of social relations which have over time been constructed, laid down, interacted with one another, decayed and renewed. Some of these relations will be, as it were, contained within the place; others will stretch beyond it, tying any particular locality into wider relations and processes in which other places are implicated too. InNajaf as a place of insurgency against US and Iraqi 2 security forces was a product of individual actions, the groups they formed, and the 3 construction of a rebel or resistance identity within national and religious histories.

What people, do, want, and 8 think changes over time and such aspirations are translated into projects that make and 91 remake places. Najaf is different now from the time I wrote these words. In another 2 example, the landscape of contemporary Moscow is made up of layers from the Soviet past and its celebration of Communism and contemporary signs of consumer capitalism 4 see Figure 1.

Also, it was argued that 9 insurgency in the town was facilitated by military and political support from across the 20 nearby Iranian border. Partying in the library would be an act that challenged the norms and rules of a particular place: An article in the New York Times of September 13, highlighted the aftermath of a military helicopter crash in which the Japanese police were not allowed to investigate the crash-site.