Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts The Roots of Mackinder’s Geopolitics

The Roots of Mackinder’s Geopolitics


Between 1904 and 1943, the British geographer Sir Halford Mackinder developed and refined his influential geopolitical view of global politics based on an understanding of history in its geographical setting. The roots of Mackinder’s worldview reach back to a series of lesser-known writings that foreshadowed key aspects of his geopolitics, including the world as a “closed” political system; the relationship between physical and political geography; the recurring struggle between land powers and sea powers; great powers as “going concerns”; the effect of technology and scientific advances on the political cohesion of continental-sized states; and the impact of population and demographic trends on the global balance of power.

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