Geopolitics is a slippery term. From great power politics and speculation about resource scrambles to everyday encounters and objects such as smartphones, it affects citizens, corporations, international bodies, social movements, and governments. Geopolitics is far more than simply the impact of geographical features such as rivers, mountains, and climate on political developments. Geography matters but not necessarily in the way that pundits and presidents assume.
In this Very Short Introduction, Klaus Dodds tours the field of geopolitics, encompassing both its intellectual historical origins and its current concerns. As people struggle to cross borders, moving a few feet either side of a territorial boundary can be a matter of life or death, dramatically highlighting the connections between place and politics. Even far away from the front lines of states, geopolitics remains an important part of everyday life. A country's connectivity, location, size, and resources all affect how the people that live there understand and interact with the wider world. In this third edition, Dodds includes new sections considering the rise of populism and economic nationalism as examples of how states, people, and corporations manage territorial frames for political projects such as Make America Great Again, One Belt, One Road, and Brexit.
1. What is geopolitics?
2. Intellectual poison
3. Geopolitical architectures
4. Popular geopolitics
Klaus Dodds is a Professor of Geopolitics at the Royal Holloway University of London and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. He is the author and editor of many books, including The Antarctic: A Very Short Introduction (OUP, 2012), Ice: Nature and Culture (Reaktion, 2018), and the co-authored volume The Arctic: What Everyone Needs to Know (OUP, 2019).
"'Dodds' succinct overview of the development of different approaches to geopolitical understanding provides an ideal starting point for anyone interested in making sense of global politics."
– Professor Joanne Sharp, University of Glasgow
"A succinct yet remarkably comprehensive overview of this persistently contentious mode of thinking about power, the world and our places, this volume covers all the key themes in a compelling and lucid text."
– Professor Simon Dalby, Wilfrid Laurier University