Geopolitics: A Guide to the Issues

Geopolitics: A Guide to the Issues

Geopolitics: A Guide to the Issues

Geopolitics: A Guide to the Issues


This concise introduction to the growth and evolution of geopolitics as a discipline includes biographical information on its leading historical and contemporary practitioners and detailed analysis of its literature.

• Biographies of major current geopolitical scholars and descriptions and listings of their works

• Maps of geopolitical crisis areas, such as Afghanistan/Pakistan, the South China Sea, and the Straits of Malacca

• Quotations from various government and military primary source documents

• A glossary of geopolitical terms

• A bibliography of international scholarly resources, including government and military documents


Personal and national economic health, prosperity, and physical security are profoundly affected by geography. Whenever energy-producing nations raise natural gas and oil prices, we pay higher prices when we fill up our cars or purchase other goods and services using energy commodities and their byproducts. We live in a globalized economy where tremendous amounts of money are electronically transferred from one corner of the world to another by governmental and private-sector sources for legitimate purposes or to facilitate drug trading and terrorism financing. The U.S. subprime mortgage market crash in 2008 had serious domestic and global repercussions on economic performance and personal prosperity. Political unrest and instability in one country or region can have profound effects throughout the world, as crisis regions such as Afghanistan, Egypt, North Korea, and Somalia demonstrate.

Jet air travel makes it possible for us to reach most areas of the world in a few hours, including Australia, as I found out during my 2010 summer vacation. This expedited travel and transportation also makes it possible to transmit human diseases germs globally and invasive species to unfamiliar ecosystems with serious public health and environmental consequences. Events such as the 2010 Icelandic volcanic eruption and maritime piracy near Somalia and elsewhere can cause significant disruption to personal travel and international maritime trade. Instantaneous communications such as the Internet and satellite television make us aware of these events and allow us to form and express personal analysis of their significance, but disruption of these communication channels through technical malfunction or cyber or terrorist attacks can do severe damage to personal and international economic well-being.

However, these technological advances do not alter the climactic, ethnographic, geographical, and sociopolitical realities of conducting naval . . .

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