What is Geopolitics?

At first glance, the term ‘geopolitics’ is a combination of two words that we know well – geography and politics. Geopolitics can be understood as the interaction between human and physical geography on international politics and international relations.

 

Or put another way, following Cohen (2002), geopolitics is, broadly speaking, the interaction between dynamic geographical settings and political processes, and the consequences of this interaction.

Why the growing interest for geopolitics?

Today, understanding geopolitics is an important puzzle piece to understanding how we can pursue sustainable development. Geopolitics is a puzzle piece because it is characterised by complex interactions and uncertainty.

 

In a world that changes rapidly, we see a growing interest in how to navigate geopolitics from all quarters: politics and authorities as well as industry and new entrepreneurs.

How is this relevant to me?

  • What happens to global trade when the ice continues to melt and open new transport routes in the Arctic?
  • What does Russia look like in the future if the world loses its interest in fossil fuels?
  • How do even higher temperatures and prolonged drought in Central Africa affect the migration patterns?

 

Behind each of these examples there are people like you and me. Men, women and children whose everyday lives are affected by the global challenges we discuss at academic seminars and in political debates.

Geopolitics, human security and global environmental change are closely related

This is the reason why it is important to consider geopolitics as part of the transformation to a sustainable future.

 

This is also the reason why the interdisciplinary research programme Mistra Geopolitics was initiated. By investigating and critically examining the dynamics of geopolitics, human security and global environment change, the Programme will contribute to a better understanding relevant for decision-makers in Sweden and globally.

 

Please, read more about the Programme and the different research work packages.

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