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South American heartland: the Charcas, Latin American geopolitics and global strategies

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Mackinder's 1904‘geographical pivot of history’ concept, subsequently developed into his famous ‘Eurasian heartland thesis’, marginalizes South America, yet his ideas have attracted considerable interest there, including interpretations (and fantasies) of a ‘South American heartland’. This paper examines the reception of Mackinder's ideas in Latin American geopolitics and how his heartland thesis was adapted for the South American context. It traces the roots of this adaptation in earlier South American geopolitical writing, and examines these ideas of counter-insurgency policies and global geopolitical strategies, analysing their relationship to military and anticommunist perspectives.

Keywords: Heartland; Mackinder; South America; Tambs; geopolitics

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1SS, Email:

Publication date: 2004-12-01

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