Political Geography in the Geographical Review: Volumes 1-99

Article excerpt

The long-standing importance of the Geographical Review as an outlet for work in political geography may not be entirely apparent to readers who focus on the journal's recent prominence in cultural and regional geography circles. Yet, since its founding, the Geographical Review has played host to a steady stream of articles on political geographical themes, a number of which have been notably influential. Isaiah Bowman, the journal's first editor--and the first Director of the American Geographical Society--was a political geographer of wide repute. Between 1916 and 1920 he oversaw the publication of Douglas W. Johnson's seminal study of boundaries (1917), an extraordinarily influential piece by Jovan Cvijic on ethnopolitical divisions in the Balkans (1918), Jean Brunhes and Camille Vallaux's overview of German colonization in Eastern Europe (1918), and Ellsworth Huntington's reflections on "The Future of Palestine" (1919). During the 1920s and 1930s Bowman himself published pieces in the Geographical Review on boundary conflicts and on "The Mohammedan World" (1923, 1924), Owen Lattimore wrote about the Chinese move into Manchuria (1932), Jean Gottmann reflected on "The Pioneer Fringe in Palestine" (1937), and Stephen Jones examined political geographical considerations pertaining to the Hawaiian Islands (Jones 1938; Jones and Mehnert 1940). Political geographical contributions to the pages of the Geographical Review continued apace during World War II, with Nicholas Spykman discussing the political, geographical, and security implications of international organizations (1942), O. H. K. Spate publishing a widely cited study of capital cities (1942), and George Kiss (1942), Bowman (1942), and Gottmann (1943) offering trenchant reflections on the changing geopolitical terrain of the time.

During the period from the end of World War II until the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Geographical Review played host to a number of notably important political geography articles. Shortly after the war ended, Theodore Shabad launched his work on the internal political partitioning of the Soviet Union with a piece in the journal (1946), Spate wrote on the partition of India and Pakistan (1948), and Werner Cahnman examined the roots of the intensifying east-west divide in Europe (1949). During the 1950s Norton Ginsburg looked at China's changing political geography (1952), Jones penned his widely cited "Views of the Political World" (1955), and J. R. V. Prescott wrote on Nigeria's regional boundaries (1959). Issues of the Geographical Review published in the 1960s and 1970s saw William Bunge wrestling with the socioeconomic underpinnings of gerrymandering (1966), Martin Glassner writing about an international river dispute (1970), Saul Cohen and Lewis Rosenthal proposing a model for political systems analysis (1971), Andrew Burghardt producing one of the first systematic studies of interstate territorial claims (1973), and Robert McColl examining the geopolitical issues at stake in the Asian revolutions of the time (1975). In the years leading up to 1989, the journal published one of Neil Smith's first pieces on Isaiah Bowman's geopolitical ideas and impact on foreign policy (N. Smith 1986), as well as two notable studies examining changing geopolitical circumstances in the Middle East and Southwest Asia (Drysdale 1987; Swearingen 1988). In the years since 1990, significant political geographical scholarship has continued to appear in the Geographical Review, with widely recognized contributions by a range of noted political geographers, including John O'Loughlin and Herman Van der Wusten (1990), Gerald Webster (1992), Marie Price (1994), Stanley Brunn and Charles Cottle (1997), James Tyner (1999), Philip Steinberg (1999), Shaul Cohen (2006), Jeremy Crampton (2007), and John Agnew (2009). (1)

GENERAL PATTERNS

The foregoing overview demonstrates the important role the Geographical Review has played in political geographical scholarship over the past century. …