Geopolitics Defined

DEFINITION: The struggle over the control of geographical entities with an international and global dimension, and the use of such geographical entities for political advantage [1]

Geopolitics is a framework that we can use to understand the complex world around us. Global politics, or “getting what you want in the world” involves thinking and acting geographically. But what does that mean? Geopolitics explains how countries, businesses, terrorist groups, etc. try to reach their political goals by controlling geographic features of the world. We call these features geographical entities. Geographical entities are the places, regions, territories, scales, and networks that make up the world.

Geopolitics looks at a particular use of power: how countries and other groups compete to control these entities within the international community. Controlling these entities is seen to help countries and groups reach their goals. Geopolitics is always looked at with an international and global dimension, meaning that the issues being looked at are connected to the global scale.[2] Thus, geopolitics can be defined as the struggle over the control of geographical entities with an international and global dimension, and the use of such geographical entities for political advantage.

[1] Colin Flint, Introduction to Geopolitics, 3rd edition. Pg 16; 36-39
[2] Ibid., p. 36

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