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Geography, geopolitics and Empire

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Halford Mackinder’s work is drawn upon repeatedly by those who would promote imperialism. Mackinder argued that geography could find a new relevance after the Age of Explorations by serving instead the cause of the New Imperialism. Mackinder’s geography was not only a science of empire, it was also a way of promoting the cause of Empire. In the face of the revival of Mackinder’s work allied with the promotion of an American Empire, we can turn to those among Mackinder’s contemporaries who challenged the use of geography to serve Empire. From the scholarship of these dissidents we can sketch ways to challenge the claims that force is the most important dimension of international relations, that the world divides naturally into mutually hostile camps, and that there are some uses of force that are sanctioned by the promotion of democracy.

Keywords: Mackinder; anarchism; geopolitics; heartland; imperialism; international relations

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 1, 2010

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