5
GEOGRAPHY OF REVOLUTION

Chapter 4 put war into a geopolitical framework and addressed the competition for territorial influence among the rulers of nation-states. Although this competition has caused many of the wars that have punctuated modern history, others have arisen from internal efforts to overthrow the existing government. Our review of hot spots revealed a multiplicity of sources of discontent. To complete the picture of the geography of war, we need to explore the spatial dimension of revolutionary political change.

Neither prophets, nor practitioners, nor political theorists nor geographers have been very precise about the geography of revolution. Yet it is evident that geography plays a fundamental part in shaping the outcome of revolutionary violence. To remedy this, first we will examine the nature of political revolution and the significance of geopolitical position in determining its outcome. This leads naturally to an exploration of the geographical sources of revolution. Having discussed the nature and origins of revolution, we will have laid the foundation for an analysis of the geographical balance of power between revolutionaries and government. After this balance of power is described, a simple model of the spatial properties of this balance of force is presented in geometric form.

The intent in writing this is not to make the case that the outcome of violent competition for power is ultimately determined by environmental circumstances. This is not an exercise in geographic determinism. But it is important to point out that the setting, which is a matter of place as well as time, does channel the torrent of chance events that is history into structured outcomes. Location, situation and site advantages must be considered in the calculus of force, along with climate, terrain and the features of the human landscape.

-71-

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Terrain and Tactics
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Tides in Contributions in Military Studies ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Figures and Tables vii
  • 1 - Military Geography 1
  • References 3
  • 2 - Some Third World Wars 5
  • References 30
  • 3 - The Lie of the Land 31
  • Reference 39
  • 4 - The World at War 41
  • References 68
  • 5 - Geography of Revolution 71
  • References 85
  • 6 - The Geography of Battles 87
  • References 103
  • 7 - Classic Spatial Ploys 105
  • References 111
  • 8 - Terrain and Tactics 113
  • References 123
  • 9 - Guerrillas and Counterinsurgency 125
  • Conclusion 134
  • References 135
  • 10 - War in Cities 137
  • References 148
  • 11 - Northern Ireland 149
  • References 161
  • 12 - Fighting in the Landscape and Fighting for a Place 163
  • References 167
  • Bibliography 169
  • Index 175
  • About the Author 183
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