Geopolitics is the study of the effects of geography on politics and international relations. The word was coined by the Swedish political scientist Rudolf Kjellén in 1900.
An early influence was the German Friedrich Ratzel, notably associated with the term Lebensraum and dubious politically correct descriptions of the term, causing some guilt by association for geopolitics. Geopolitics may also be associated with “realist” views on international relations, and be considered less politically correct by supporters of liberal views and globalization. Leftist Wikipedia prominently mention the claim that geopolitics, as used in the early-twentieth-century, is a pseudoscience. Recently, there has appeared “critical geopolitics”, a branch of critical theory.
“Political geography” is an etymologically similar term, but often with wider senses.
Geopolitics (from Greek γῆ gê “earth, land” and πολιτική politikḗ “politics”) is the study of the effects of Earth’s geography (human and physical) on politics and international relations. While geopolitics usually refers to countries and relations between them, it may also focus on two other kinds of states: de facto independent states with limited international recognition and relations between sub-national geopolitical entities, such as the federated states that make up a federation, confederation or a quasi-federal system.
At the level of international relations, geopolitics is a method of studying foreign policy to understand, explain and predict international political behavior through geographical variables. These include area studies, climate, topography, demography, natural resources, and applied science of the region being evaluated.
Geopolitics focuses on political power linked to geographic space. In particular, territorial waters and land territory in correlation with diplomatic history. Topics of geopolitics include relations between the interests of international political actors focused within an area, a space, or a geographical element, relations which create a geopolitical system. Critical geopolitics deconstructs classical geopolitical theories, by showing their political/ideological functions for great powers. There are some works that discuss the geopolitics of renewable energy.
According to Christopher Gogwilt and other researchers, the term is currently being used to describe a broad spectrum of concepts, in a general sense used as “a synonym for international political relations”, but more specifically “to imply the global structure of such relations”; this usage builds on an “early-twentieth-century term for a pseudoscience of political geography” and other pseudoscientific theories of historical and geographic determinism.
Definition of balance of power
: an equilibrium of power sufficient to discourage or prevent one nation or party from imposing its will on or interfering with the interests of another
balance of power, in international relations, the posture and policy of a nation or group of nations protecting itself against another nation or group of nations by matching its power against the power of the other side. States can pursue a policy of balance of power in two ways: by increasing their own power, as when engaging in an armaments race or in the competitive acquisition of territory; or by adding to their own power that of other states, as when embarking upon a policy of alliances.
The Frankfurt School and Critical Theory – Cultural Marxism