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GEOPOLITICS 2/28. BELL-RINGER: Analyze this quote – what does it mean? “The World-Economy is more than the sum of its parts. It is composed of “dots” but we must also understand the “whole.”. Sunday on La Grande Jatte by Georges Pierre Seurat. Geopolitics.

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BELL-RINGER: Analyze this quote – what does it mean?

“The World-Economy is more than the sum of its parts. It is composed of “dots” but we must also understand the “whole.”

Sunday on La Grande Jatte by Georges Pierre Seurat

  • Geopolitics – the interplay among geography, power, politics, and international relations.
Mackinder’s Heartland Theory: “Who rules East Europe commands the HeartlandWho rules the Heartland commands the World Island Who rules the World Island commands the world”
classical geopolitics
Classical Geopolitics
  • Heartland Theory: Halford Mackinder (1904)
  • East Europe = commands the Heartland.
  • Heartland = commands the World-Island
  • World-Island = commands the World
  • Mackinder's Heartland (also known as the Pivot Area) is the core area of Eurasia, and the World-Island is all of Eurasia (both Europe and Asia).
classical geopolitics1
Classical Geopolitics

Rimland Theory: Nicholas Spykman

  • Spykman thought Rimland, the strip of coastal land that encircles Eurasia, is more important than the “Heartland”.
  • Spykman's vision is at the base of the "containment politics" by the US towards the Soviet Union during the post-war period.
    • Control Rimland, control Eurasia
    • Control Eurasia, controls destiny of the world.
    • Importance in demographic weight, natural resources, and industrial development
Immanuel Wallerstein’s World-Systems Theory:
  • The world economy has one market and a global division of labor.
  • Although the world has multiple states, almost everything takes place within the context of the world economy.
  • The world economy has a three-tier structure.
three tier structure
Three Tier Structure


Processes that incorporate higher levels of education, higher salaries, and more technology

* Generate more wealth in the world economy


Processes that incorporate lower levels of education, lower salaries, and less technology

* Generate less wealth in the world economy


Places where core and periphery processes are both occurring. Places that are exploited by the core but then exploit the periphery.

* Serves as a buffer between core and periphery

construction of the capitalist world economy
Construction of the Capitalist World Economy

Capitalism – people, corporations, and states produce goods and services and exchange them in the world market, with the goal of achieving profit.

Commodification – the process of placing a price on a good and then buying, selling, and trading the good.

GLOBAL ECONOMY AN EFFECT OF COLONIALISM AND ECONOMIC IMPERIALISM–brought the world into the world economy (dictated by Western Europe and US), setting up an interdependent global economy.

political organization review 3 1
Political Organization Review 3.1
  • Bellringer – What are reasons that a state would break apart? Give a historic example.
  • What are reasons a state would unite? Give a historic example.
Devolution –

Movement of power from the central government to regional governments within the state.

What causes devolutionary movements?

Ethnocultural forces

Economic forces

Spatial forces

ethnocultural devolutionary movements
Ethnocultural Devolutionary Movements

Eastern Europe

devolutionary forces since the fall of communism

ethnocultural devolutionary movements1
Ethnocultural Devolutionary Movements


rise in independence movement is coupled with:

- European Union

- Scotland’s oil resources

economic devolutionary movements
Economic Devolutionary Movements

Catalonia, Spain

Barcelona is the center of banking and commerce in Spain and the region is much wealthier than the rest of Spain.

ethnocultural devolutionary movements2
Ethnocultural Devolutionary Movements

Quebec, Canada

French Language speaking Quebec has twice voted in regard to succession, both times voting to remain part of Canada.

ethnocultural devolutionary movements3
Ethnocultural Devolutionary Movements


indigenous Intuits of Northern Canada granted status as an autonomous region of Canada

spatial devolutionary movements
Spatial Devolutionary Movements

Honolulu, Hawai’i

A history apart from the United States, and a desire to live apart in order to keep traditions alive.

collapse of communism
Collapse of Communism
  • Fall of the Soviet Union
    • Buffer State, Iron Curtain, Domino Theory, Containment, Satellite State
  • Fall of Yugoslavia
    • Balkanization, Cultural Shatterbelt
  • Centripital: Unify a State
    • Patriotism
  • Centrifugal: Divide a state (devolutionary forces)
review for test
critical geopolitics
Critical Geopolitics
  • The idea that intellectuals of statecraft construct ideas about places, these ideas influence and reinforce their political behaviors and policy choices, and these ideas affect how we, the people, process our own notions of places and politics.
us versus them
Us versus Them

Terrorists “come from diverse places but share a hatred for democracy, a fanatical glorification of violence, and a horrible distortion of their religion, to justify the murder of innocents. They have made the United States their adversary precisely because of what we stand for and what we stand against.”

“They [the terrorists] stand against us because we stand in their way.”

President George W. Bush

“I’ve said in the past that nations are either with us or against us in the war on terror.”

President George W. Bush

President William J. Clinton

geopolitical world order
Geopolitical World Order

Temporary periods of stability in how politics are conducted at the global scale.

  • bi-polar
  • multi-polar
  • unilateralism

Will individual states remain the dominant actors in a future geopolitical world order?

the world in context
The World in Context
  • East West
  • North South
Read a major newspaper (in print or online) and look for a recent statement by a world political leader regarding international politics. Using the concept of critical geopolitics, determine what view of the world the world leader has – how he/she defines the world spatially.