Redefining the Gap 3, Introduction to Geopolitics

Note: This is a selection from Redefining the Gap, part of tdaxp‘s SummerBlog ’06


Geopolitics helped make geography a science by focusing on the political (Unstead 1949:47) and human (Dawson 1987:28) dimensions of geography. Halford Mackinder, an influential geopolitician, described his goal as not “to predict a great future for this or that country, but to make a geographical formula into which you could fit any political balance.” (Hall 1955:109). Thus, geography is a “conditioning factor” in many parts of politics (Spkyman 1938:29). The internal (Williams 1927:142) and external (Enterline 1998:804) nature of states and how they go to war (Midlarsky 1995:224) are effected by their geopolitical position. Geopolitical analysis has survived changing constellations of great powers and technologies (Hooson 1962:20). Stable geopolitical concepts have emerged, even as academic debates on the specifics of geopolitics continue (Harkavy 2001:38).

Normative accusations have dogged geopolitics. Charges of imperialism abound (Semmel 1958:554, Kearns 1999:450), as do accusations of ethnocentricism (Gilbert and Parker 1969:229). The critics of geopolitics sometimes associate it with racism , eugenics (Tyner 1999), and even encouraging war (Griswold 1940:2).

Redefining the Gap, a tdaxp series:
Redefining the Gap 1. Prologue
Redefining the Gap 2. Summary
Redefining the Gap 3. Introduction to Geopolitics
Redefining the Gap 4. First Geopolitical Theories
Redefining the Gap 5. The North and the South
Redefining the Gap 6. Critical Geopolitics
Redefining the Gap 7. The Pentagon’s New Map
Redefining the Gap 8. The Research Design
Redefining the Gap 9. Methods and Operationalizations
Redefining the Gap 10. Limitations and Conclusion
Redefining the Gap 11. Results
Redefining the Gap 12. Bibliography
Redefining the Gap 13. Appendix: Computer Code
Redefining the Gap 14. Appendix: National Codes

A Forbidding City?

The adventure today involved a ton of walking, in and around Tiananmen Square. Some photos from the drives, as well.

Rock of Ages

PLA Air Force Officer, Stuck in Traffic like the rest of us

Reminds me of South Dakotan towns displaying weapons

A Street Scene

Uniformed, Mindless Zombies of the Great Leader working for you! (in the subway)

Socialist Capitalist Realism Hip-Hop

Tiananmen Square Prepares for the Olympics

The Police State Hard at Work Enjoying a Rest

Memorial to Fallen Heroes

Soon, tdaxp’s portrait will be there

Where They Decided to Censor tdaxp

Near Tiananmen, Islam and the World

The Once and Future Generations

Italian Ice Cream!

Chinese Love Basketball

More Islam

They Stole Our Church!

Mother of God!

Mary in a Spooky Grotto

The Moat by the Forbidden City

Chinese Chess, Three Men Watch, a Girl is Bored

The Moat (Other Side of the Bridge)

Approaching the Main Entrance

Swimming, Fishing, and Diving are Forbidden near the City

Perhaps not the most Authentic Section…

It Just Keeps Going!

Building and Sky

An Artificial Hill

Busy People, Quiet Scenery

Hauling Lumber (on the way back home)