Principles of Political Geography

Principles of Political Geography

Principles of Political Geography

Principles of Political Geography

Excerpt

This study of political geography is not an ordinary textbook. The subject is both in the field of political science and of geography, and being both it must be analytical in all its aspects; for the attempt to show the interrelationship and the blending of political geographical factors in power relations is analytical in nature. The result is a book which confronts the reader with the facts and problems of political geography, stating the facts and posing the problems without, however, attempting to find easy answers for the latter. It aims, above all, at making the reader realize the importance and magnitude of the problems that arise from the interrelationship of political and geographical factors. The emphasis on problems accounts for our statement that this volume is not an ordinary textbook.

It is not a well-paved and easy road that we propose to travel in our effort to link the two realms of geography and of man's political authority and organization within his natural environment. The view, and the review, of this relationship is characterized and complicated by the dominant fact that the realm of political geography is subject to constant change and fluctuation. We have become used to the phrase that ours is a "shrinking world." In no phase of history has this shrinking process progressed as rapidly as in our time. In this rapid revolution of change, instability has become a main characteristic of our political world. The factor of instability renders the task of exploring the synthesis of political activity and natural environment both difficult and challenging. The rapidity with which the shrinking process progresses creates a cultural lag, for man, in the words of Vilhjalmur Stefansson, "has learned to change the face of nature but not to change his own mind." We have been trained to interpret the laws of nature as they reveal themselves in our natural environment, but with this knowledge we have not acquired the wisdom to discern the relationship and the conditioning effects of natural . . .

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