Geopolitics is a field of study that is responsible for analyzing history, geography and social science with a special reference to spatial politics through patterns of various scales, ranging from state to international levels. It gives a critical examination of economic and political issues in relation geographical frontiers. In this context, geography is defined in terms of function, size, location and relationship of resources and places. Traditionally, geopolitics indicates causal relationships and links between geographic space and political power.
It is seen as a concrete line of thought used to essay specific and strategic prescriptions that lay their basis on the relative significance of sea power and land power in the history of the world (Gearnoid, 1998, pp. 33). The consistent concerns of the geopolitical tradition included the relationships between terrestrial and naval capabilities, the identification of international core areas and the geopolitical correlates of power in the world of politics.
Geopolitics were conducted through a geopolitical system, that was seen as an ensemble of relations between the interests focused to an area, international political factors, ways, geographical elements and space. Geopolitics is a branch of political geography concerning the assessment of reciprocal relations between politics, geography and power as well as the interactions that arise from their combination. It is therefore a scientific discipline with a basic science nature (Klauds, 2000, pp.
12). Radically, contemporally use of geopolitics deviates from the original use in the 19th century. Originally, geopolitics served as a reflection of international affairs under a strong influence by social Darwinism. Under this, there was a limited significance of international law, global norms and multilateralism all of which signaled realist view of international affairs cynically. The concept currently denotes interplay of geographic space, strategic dominance and natural resources.
In connection to earlier usage of the term, its growing use brings on board the need to reflect on the rise of multipolarity in the early 21st century and the renaissance of great power rivalry (Neil, 2005, pp. 23). As the world is changing, there has been great pressure upon traditional or old systems of societal governance and operation. This has been a movement towards globalization, a state where different social setups, economies, technocrats and political affiliates interact, share ideas, problems, challenges and experiences. A globalized society understands, anticipates and advocates for freedom and rights.
Globalization encompasses the preaching of rights, justice, freedom, and peace continued support of masses and majority rule to citizens in promoting their own morality related believes. Through interaction, global community has become one society with commonalities in political, social, economic, cultural and technological beacons. Through the process, ideologies of many communities have been alignment towards the same point in both material and non material concerns of life. This change has influenced the original interpretation and applicability of geopolitics limiting the role it initially played (Agnew, 2003, pp.
45). Globalization is therefore premier buzzwords in 21st century, referring to a world which is stretched, interdependent, integrated, shrunk, interwoven, connected and less territorially segmented into various cultural and economic zones. Due to the above description, it is seen as shorthand towards economic liberalism spontaneously adopted by governments of the world, as a social modernization scaled up from national to whole world status with time and also as an economic technological process through the compression of time and space, highly challenging geopolitics (Gearnoid, 1998, pp. 34).
Since globalization and geopolitics aspects show some degree of compatibility regardless of the time factor, globalization is of late seen to replace geopolitics. Geopolitics was seen as an issue concerning great powers and empires imposing territorial control to various boundaries whereas globalization is a world that knows no boundaries. This means that globalization has geopolitical roots. Globalization represents a stark break of the geopolitics of the cold war (Brunn, 2004, pp. 20). The free world economy was started during the cold war, through the mantra of the new globalizing economy.
Globalization has initiated a new regime of market access through a revolutionary process by international organizations including WTO, GATT, World Bank and IMF. These institutions have aided in departing from geopolitics through enforcement of radical economic liberalism. As a result a new economic geography has emerged, characterized by tension towards continued regulation of economic activities and a world economy with organized flow of goods and capital in locations that are widely scattered. Therefore as geopolitics decay in the current society, there is significant aspiration towards a higher level of global economic development.
(http://www. informationclearinghouse. info/article11747. htm) Through globalization, the geographical logic of the world has changed by addressing the disparities between the territorial and interactional modes of capitalism organization. Globalization does not only reshuffle geopolitics in its nature of globality, but through the combination of global networks and localized territorial fragmentation. Geopolitics era structured the world economy into territorial entities such as colonial empires, states and geopolitical spheres of influence (Greer, 2000, pp. 30).
In another perspective, globalization is not seen to mark the end of geopolitics but reform it. The main novelty today is the role of economic prosperity, underdevelopment of cross-border flows, networks linking nation to hinderlands and the increased differentiations between regions and localities because of the existing biases along the spatial channel. This clearly shows that globalization has no marked the end of geopolitics, but entails its reformulation from an economic mapping based on territories to a more complex mosaic of states, localities, global city regions and regions differentially integrated into the global economy.
This means there exists geopolitics of contemporally globalization concerning the operational and originality structure. To indicate that globalization has not marked the end of geopolitics, social and political boundaries have not disappeared but are in a process of reconstitution along and across long established ones (Larrabee, 2003, pp. 12). Geopolitics was hegemonic in nature. For many years, geopolitics has been known to limit political and economic influence of many countries through dividing the world into territorial empires and trading blocs.
The limitation was facilitated through enactment and enforcement of powerful strains to minimize the involvement in political affairs and foreign economic affairs. Geopolitics was highly supported by the autarkic dogmas of soviet communism and competitive trading blocs which were partly blamed for the great depressions of the 1930s. After the Second World War, a strong internationalist American agenda was brought in to counterpoint the effects of the communistic societies by sponsoring international investments, currency convertibility and free trade.
This effort towards a free world order provided the groundwork to internationalization of global activities. According to this explanation, we can say that geopolitics laid down the groundwork to globalization. On the other hand, Globalization can thus be said to be a kind of geopolitics that has undergone transition within time and spatial dimensions (Heymann, 2005, pp. 67). Twentieth century economic globalization has been linked to two issues that indicate the linkage between geopolitics and globalization.
These issues were both political and economic because they aimed at promoting as realization of continental expansion and later to global expansion in political, economic and social spheres. First, expansion of market was viewed as a necessity towards social well being and national political well being. Second, economic liberty or independence was viewed as the foundation for freedom per se. these views opened a new page as far as geopolitics is concerned (Buqajski, 2002, pp. 43). Early in the 21st century America underwrote continental expansion but stimulated foreign market for their commodities.
However, the power of the government to control private economic activities was limited by federal subunits and the divisions of power between the branches of federal government. Such branches included the congress, the presidency and the Supreme Court. This system depicts how firm and conservative geopolitics was. On the other hand it shows how globalization was challenged by the system of governance before starting to grow. Globalization was experiencing a pull apart scenario from tiers of government and federal branches.
Down the years, the country and other several nations have extended their powers beyond continental to global frontiers. This means the role of geopolitics in modeling the system of governance is decreasing with time, but it shall not bet forgotten that it serves as the bottom line for change, the change being renamed as the globalization (Herd, 2002, pp. 65). For globalization to be completely explored, it is necessary to assess the role played by geopolitics in its structuring. This is because of the commonalities the two concepts have. Such process will involve comparison between hegemonic power against democracy or devolution.
The regime makers in this changing world determine the speed, scope and nature of globalization, regarding how far they are free from geopolitics. The roots of geopolitics indicate the reforms in markets, concentration of political and economic power and hegemony (http://www. informationclearinghouse. info/article11747. htm). To show the current scenarios in issues of globalization and geopolitics, many media commenter, IPE scholars and policy makers criticize de territorial threats from Middle East on the failure to adjust and embrace globalization.
This has forced United States of America to use force and bring Middle East to globalization through a slogan that disconnectedness defines a danger. The Middle East is claimed to lie centrally to a vast region that is disconnected to global flow of security, capital and people to sustain mutually assured dependence. Americans have claimed to be fighting geopolitics in the Middle East region. It is said that geopolitical imaginary in the Middle East is blind towards networks of transnational mobility across the region. The study and consideration of geopolitics in the region gives the micro foundations of globalization in the area.
It is also widely believed that the rate of globalization is inversely related to extend of geopolitics (Gearnoid, 1998, pp. 35). Areas with high rate of geopolitics are thought to have low rates of globalization and vice versa, but none completely outdoes the other. This means both concepts are important for the involved elements around the globe to intermingle efficiently. This is built on pluralistic theory of globalization, stating that transnational processes and diverse global processes are heterogeneously shaped by agents and networks of alternative geopolitical imaginaries (Agnew, 2006, pp.
16). Specifically the way to globalization can be evaluated by considering the geopolitics of tourism since 2001 in the Middle East region. As opposed to many, tourism has significantly developed since then. Public and private sectors in tourism that initially focused on tourism from industrialized nations have redirected their efforts towards both domestic and regional tourist flow paving way to new, more regional and stylish tourist development.
Today, new and emerging forms of regional Islamic tourism and Arabic tourism, propelled by oil income expansion and consumer behavior shifts have remapped globalization meaning in the region. Firms, states and various actors across Middle East are seeking negotiation on own interaction with global economy, promising to assert manipulation of their local spaces and territory and therefore define their itineraries of globalization (Klauds, 2000, pp. 19).
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