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In Defence of the Heartland: Sir Halford Mackinder and His Critics a Hundred Years On

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The British geographer, Sir Halford J. Mackinder, was not the founder of geopolitics, but by a wide margin he was its most profound and influential theorist. Unsurprisingly, his three principal geopolitical analyses--in 1904, 1919, and 1943--reflected the strategic, political, and technological circumstances of their time. That necessary fact notwithstanding, many people may be surprised to learn that in its basic assumptions and general framework of understanding, Sir Halford's theory of geopolitics has been proven by the course of history to be essentially correct. His Pivot-Heartland thesis, which readily accommodates the Rimland focus of the Dutch-American theorist, Nicholas J. Spykman, is as relevant for the twenty-first century as it was for the twentieth. After a hundred years, Mackinder's ideas have long outlasted the charges of his critics. The current crop of critics, overdosing on globalization, safely can be predicted to fare no better than did their predecessors.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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