Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts The Continued Primacy of Geography

The Continued Primacy of Geography

Because “geopolitics” is a word-as well as a basket of associated idea-that all but begs to be abused by the unscrupulous, the following definition may prove useful: geopolitics refers to “the relation of international political power to the geographical setting.“

But what, then, is “geography”? The concept of geography is perilously all-embracing and, like other factors that purportedly explain everything, has the potential to end up explaining nothing in particular. One can speak of physical geography, human geography, economic geography, political geography, cultural geography, military geography, strategic geography, and many more. Unfortunately for neatness of analysis, the geographical setting for international political power must embrace all of these.

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