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The Geopolitics Reader Paperback – 23 Mar 2006

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 2 edition (23 Mar. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415341485
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415341486
  • Product Dimensions: 18.9 x 1.9 x 24.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 317,099 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars 8 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Geopolitical Thinking as Analysis and Propaganda 13 Dec. 2009
By W. James D. Easton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a collection of geopolitical reprints with starkly perceptive commentaries on the political thinking of their times. Necessary reading if one wishes to understand the history of the last century.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A highly biased approach to international relations 28 Mar. 2013
By Iguanaman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
So called "critical geopolitics" (CG) is obviously not the same as "classical" oder "traditional geopolitics". CG is yet dominant when it comes to the literature about "geopolitics". CG views knowledge and power as complements, which Gerard Toal summarizes as: "Geopolitics is not about Power Politics. It is Power Politics!" I find this notion highly problematic for many reasons. Many analysts who acclaim "geopolitics" have seldom business with decision-making (safe Kissinger or Brzesinski), they see it rather as an instructive concept to describe international relations, like many theories. Geopolitical theories attempt to be more realistic than others by deeming the spatial dimension an important aspect in international relations. True, there has been a hybris about the term. Nazi-Geopolitik or colonialist implications of British geopolitics are examples. But nobody defends their validity or practical implications anymore. CG seems to have nothing more to offer than pointing at concepts which contemporary authors in geopolitics see as an abuse of the term. It would make for a more powerful attack to take on influential contemporary thinkers (e. g. Geoffrey Parker, Colin Gray or Robert D. Kaplan). But the discipline itself does not have many instruments to do so. In fact, I agree with Jakub J. Grygiel who asserts that: "For a variety of reasons that have little to do with reality and reflect mostly the mood swings of academic fashion, in the last decades geography has played an increasingly smaller role in international relations theory, resulting in a growing gap between theory and practice." So why attack a concept that does not have much influence? Why acclaim "resistance" or "dissidence" (terms CG often attributes to itself) when in fact one is dominant in the literature? It is puzzling to me.

I could go on and on, but I just make one more example: CG often associates geopolitics with imperialism. But Kaplan for instance uses the concept as a critique of the Iraq invasion. He reasons that the terrain-specific circumstances disfavored action guided by idealism rather than careful examination of limits of military power. Many authors see geopolitics rather as a concept which is more moderate than conservative, anti-Communist policies and more realistic than liberal idealism (Gray/Sloan).

CG has therefore not much to do with geography as a natural scientist would see it, but rather it is about how geography is seen or perceived. Perception and ideology are not the only, but parts of many factors which need to be taken into account in the social sciences. I see the need for being "critical" in any way, who would disagree? But as I see it, CG is not really critical - the authors make rather a lot of noise instead of serious, material analysis. To one unfamiliar with the twists of postmodern philosophy, this approach must seem rather comical. I gave it two stars, because there are indeed some important texts in it.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read for my GIS Intelligence course 15 Sept. 2007
By B. Still - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I order this book based on its requirement for my Geo-Spatial Intelligence course through Penn State's online world campus. Great insight on geo-politics and global perspectives.
3.0 out of 5 stars Gets the job done 9 May 2013
By Omacat - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Useful textbook for a graduate level geography course, which is what I bought it for. Factual and interesting, but not a terribly captivating read unless you're into that sort of thing.
5.0 out of 5 stars Geography Matters in World Politics and Conflict 14 Feb. 2015
By Ann Masangcay - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Awesome book. Much more interesting than I was expecting from a required text for my GEOINT class.
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