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The geopolitical changes of the post cold war era

Related Abstract From the coining of the term by Rudolf Kjellen, a Swedish political scientist back in 1989 to its usage in the twentieth century, geopolitics offers a revealing window of the power struggle between states that have dominated most of the twentieth century.

During the cold war, geopolitics was used to describe the struggle between the capitalist western bloc which was dominated by the US and the Soviet Eastern bloc. However, its association with Nazism led to the decline of its usage and was subsequently abandoned by the post-cold war generation of scholars In the recent years, however, there has been resurgence of geopolitics but with different views of international politics.

This paper thus examines whether the post-cold war geopolitics is significantly different from cold war geopolitics. The paper finds that de-territorializing consequences of information technology and the deepening impacts of globalization have significantly transformed cold war geopolitics.

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The state-centric view that was dominant during the cold war era has been replaced by contemporary focus on globalization Introduction The long confrontation between the Soviet Union and the United States that marked the cold war era ended with the fall of Berlin wall and collapse of Soviet Union back in 1991.

Since the end of cold war, the nature of geopolitics has significantly changed. This paper examines these changes. It points out that the state-centric view that was dominant during the cold war era has been replaced by contemporary focus on globalization.

The de-territorializing consequences of information technology and the deepening impacts of globalization have significantly transformed the nature of cold war geopolitics Flint p.

The paper also argues that a new geopolitical order dominated by geo-economic questions has emerged, one in which globalization of economic activity and trade flows are remaking states. In this definition, the term space is emphasized and is more abstract.

The end of the Cold War and geopolitical change in Europe

It signifies issues such as control of territory, objects and distances between objects Flint 2006: Having defined human geography, we can now define geopolitics as a study of how the world is divided, labeled, and sorted out into a hierarchy of places by political geographers Dalby 2003: As pointed out by Agnew 2003 p.

It involves a combination of power and knowledge to make sense of the world. The most dominant themes in geopolitics are the view of a single world entity, but a politically divided whole and a focus on the nation state as an important political entity in the struggle for primacy Dalby 2003: Geopolitics is thus a strand of analysis that eschews the traditional question of how politics is influenced by geography and investigates how geographical assumptions and claims function in political debates Flint 2006: Often when this term is used, it is in reference to the interactive relationship between states and the geographical context.

With such geographical terms, geopolitics is able to generate a simple model the geopolitical changes of the post cold war era the world useful in informing foreign and security policy making Pozo-Martin 2007: Cold war geopolitics With the end of the Second World War, the world was split in two hemispheres: The two major victors were the United States who dominated over the West and the Soviet Union who took control of the East.

The west comprised of a capitalist organization whereas the East comprised of a state planned organization.

The confrontation that arose between the two gave birth to the cold war. The struggle was named as cold war as it did not directly involve armed conflict but rather confrontation by means of diplomatic maneuvering, selective aid, economic pressure, assassination, and propaganda and low intensity military operations Pozo-Martin 2007: Also, both the US and the Soviet Union competed for influence in the Third World which comprised of new states emerging from colonialism Sakwa 2008: During the cold war, geopolitics was closely tied to the realist approach which is underpinned by three main assumptions: That is, the state is viewed as the dominant actor in the international system Gagne 2007: The second assumption of the realist approach is the view that states interacts in a global environment which is anarchic, given the lack of a superior authority to regulate conflicts Gagne 2007: The last assumption is that, not only is the state concerned with maximizing its power but also preventing erosion of its own absolute capacities and position in the system Gagne 2007: Whilst the primary objective of the state is often to increase its own capacities, this objective is also meant to stop other states from increasing their own.

As such, when there is a perceived threat against a given state, the state would do anything to prevent such threat from materializing Gagne 2007: The deployment of simplistic reasoning of international politics during the cold war began with Truman Doctrine. Such kind of geographical mapping became the geopolitical monochrome of the good and the bad, the West vs the East, capitalism vs communism and America vs the Soviet Union Sakwa 2008: However, a controversy arose with the cold war geopolitics over its association with Nazis.

  1. An ensemble of emerging technologies in the post-cold war era has fundamentally changed the nature of geopolitics Agnew 2003. Historians will certainly regard the years 1989—1991 as a turning point comparable in importance to the years 1789—1794, or 1917—1918, or 1945—1947; precisely what has 'turned,' however, is much less certain.
  2. Technology[ edit ] The end of the Cold War allowed many technologies that were formerly off limits to the public to be declassified. The second assumption of the realist approach is the view that states interacts in a global environment which is anarchic, given the lack of a superior authority to regulate conflicts Gagne 2007.
  3. Conclusion It is clear from the above that the post-cold war geopolitics is significantly different from cold war geopolitics.
  4. Libertarian , neoliberal , [11] nationalist [11] and Islamist [11] parties on the other hand benefited from the fall of the Soviet Union. This paper thus examines whether the post-cold war geopolitics is significantly different from cold war geopolitics.

The story of German geopolitics led to a considerable criticism. Critics argued that the perspectives and geopolitical insights of the Nazis including Adolf Hitler and Rudolf Hess were intended at promoting and legitimizing German expansionism at the expense of the ethnic communities Flint 2006: Richard Hartshorne along with other geographical scholars found geopolitics as tainted by association with Nazism and policies of genocide and racism Flint 2006: Within 50 years of its inception, geopolitics had been condemned as giving Nazism a sense of strategic rationality, an aspect that significantly shaped the geopolitical changes of the post cold war era and elite attitudes Flint 2006: With the Second World War coming to an end, geopolitics became heavily criticized as being the handmaiden of Nazism, and was subsequently abandoned by the post-coldwar generation of scholars Flint 2006: In fact, in the early 1960s Ladis Kristof, an American geographer, was castigated by other geographers for trying to resurrect the term and damned for even mentioning it Flint 2006: The cold-war geopolitics had an important economic dimension which was central to the creation of international politics.

The US state was transformed by American intellectuals from a reluctant isolationist power to one that was more dedicated to promoting an open world economy Fred 1994: Further, the US state facilitated the economic reconstruction of Western Europe and Japan, thereby promoting an open capitalist world economy Fred 1994: The US viewed communism as equivalent to war.

They held that there could be no real peace until the Soviet Union and communism was put to an end Gagne 2007: By the end of 1991, countries that had been under direct command and control of the Soviet Union were glad to renounce the communist system Gagne 2007: Also, the Berlin wall was torn down and the Soviet Union became Russia.

  • The US viewed communism as equivalent to war;
  • The New Cold War, Bloomsbury, p;
  • Prominent Historian of the Cold War, John Lewis Gaddis , wrote at the dawn of the post-Cold War era that the characteristics of the new era are not yet certain but it is certain that it will be very different from the Cold War era and it means that a turning point of world historical significance took place;
  • By the end of 1991, countries that had been under direct command and control of the Soviet Union were glad to renounce the communist system Gagne 2007:

With the Soviet Union disintegrating, this signaled the end of planned, centralized and closed economy Gagne 2007: Countries in the East began embracing capitalist virtues and new actors such as multinational firms began operating across the borders Gagne 2007: To this end, the most likely interpretation of the cold war is that it was a mutually beneficial geopolitical drama that served the US and the Soviet Union Flint 2006: It provided for the two protagonists to control the western and eastern hemispheres of the world and provided a reason for the occupation of military in Europe.

Additionally, it included a consensus that viewed the third world as to be dominated by major powers. Post-cold war geopolitics Despite its demise during the cold war, the past two decades have seen resurgence of geopolitics and is now fairly documented in a number of countries.

The most prominent country in which geopolitics looms dominant is Russia. Another striking example is Italy which has seen a revival of geopolitics. Its resurgence is also evident in Estonia where geopolitical thought has been used to understand foreign policy Klauss 2005: However, there has been a change to its interpretation of international politics. The new world order has been given different views and geopolitics renewed. Informed by postmodern critiques of the ethnocentric practices underpinning cold war geopolitics, the critical geopolitics has articulated various visions of the post-cold war geopolitics Klauss 2005: Prior to the breakup of the Soviet Union, intellectuals such as Edward Luttwak and Francis Fukuyam offered different versions of the post-cold war geopolitics.

  • That is, the state is viewed as the dominant actor in the international system Gagne 2007;
  • The Contemporary Agenda 2nd ed;
  • Prior to the breakup of the Soviet Union, intellectuals such as Edward Luttwak and Francis Fukuyam offered different versions of the post-cold war geopolitics;
  • As pointed out by Agnew 2003 p;
  • The paper also argues that a new geopolitical order dominated by geo-economic questions has emerged, one in which globalization of economic activity and trade flows are remaking states.

Fukuyama claimed that the world was coming to an end as the western liberalism triumphed across the planet Flint 2006: Supporting his argument, Luttwak pointed out to trade conflicts between the US and Japan as a way in which the new West and the East would continue to compete in world affairs Flint 2006: Indeed as predicted by Luttwak, geopolitics has changed significantly in this new world order as the relationship between geography, power and world order has been given new meanings Barber 1996: A new geopolitical order dominated by geo-economic questions has emerged.

Globalization of trade, production and markets has become a desirable development in the new world order. Further, in the new post-cold war geopolitics, focus has been placed on the relationship of politics to the earth.

Global environment, a new object that did not exist with the cold war geopolitics, has now become the subject of considerable scientific research. It is indeed a fact that we are living in spaces traversed by global flows and rapid growth of information technologies. Economic globalization, growth in information technology, global media flows and transnational webs of crime have perpetually given rise to a new geopolitics Agnew 2003: An ensemble of emerging technologies in the post-cold war era has fundamentally changed the nature of geopolitics Agnew 2003: These technologies centre on the use of social media and the internet and the so-called revolution in the military.

Integration of information technology and the use of robotics in military affairs have changed the nature of geopolitics.

The manifestations of these changes can be seen with the conduct of US-led invasions into Afghanistan and Iraq Agnew 2003: Conclusion It is clear from the above that the post-cold war geopolitics is significantly different from cold war geopolitics. The de-territorializing consequences of information technology and the deepening impacts of globalization have significantly transformed cold war geopolitics.

Post–Cold War era

The state-centric view that was dominant during the cold war era has been replaced by contemporary focus on globalization. Institute for Policy Studies. The Contemporary Agenda 2nd ed.

  1. As capitalism had "won", as people saw it, socialism in general declined in popularity.
  2. Much of the policy and infrastructure of the West and the Eastern Bloc had revolved around the capitalist and communist ideologies respectively and the possibility of a nuclear warfare. With the Soviet Union disintegrating, this signaled the end of planned, centralized and closed economy Gagne 2007.
  3. However, there has been a change to its interpretation of international politics.

Polity, Cambridgep. Routledge, New York, p. Geopolitics in a post-cold war context: A Critical Introduction, London: Places and Regions in Global Context: Human Geography, Lucas, E. The New Cold War, Bloomsbury, p. The Geopolitics Reader, Routledge, London, p.