The process of study of the Earth’s geography, which impacts national and international relations with politics, is called geopolitics. This means the position of different countries on our planet determines the relations humans have with one another, which also has a more significant impact on the politics of the land. Geopolitics also focuses on the following:
- De facto refers to the international relations of countries within different sub-national entities
- Quasi-federal system or confederation
Geopolitics is also referred to as a method to study and understand foreign policies and predict the behavior of other international geographical variables like:
- Area studies
- Climatic changes
- Applied sciences and other areas
The word was first derived in the 20th century by a Swedish scientist named Rudolf Kjellen between World War I and II. Since then, it has been widely employed as a synonym for international politics. The idea of geopolitics started gaining importance in the ancient Greek era by various writers such as Aristotle and Montesquieu. Most of their works were focused on new technologies of invention and the era of the industrial revolution.
Why geopolitics was discovered
One of the primary reasons was to understand the new industrial capabilities of different sectors like communication, transportation, steamships, telegraphy, explosives, and airplanes. These geographic features were the only ones on this vast planet that would shape the lives of people on it and also aid in determining the global international system.
Most of them also believe that the new era of geopolitics would characterize the course of the intense competition and help establish and maintain the balance of power in the world. This idea of geopolitics has been helping people in Europe and other parts of the world since the 19th century.
There are different tools for geopolitics, which are divided into three types:
- International security tools of which one of the best examples is the armed conflict. Espionage is considered an indirect national security tool often used to get aid in indirect or direct international conflicts.
- Economic tools are used to reinforce the non-cooperative and cooperative stance through different economic means. Trade agreements, global harmonization, and tariff rules are some of the best examples of economic tools in geopolitics.
- Financial tools are used to reinforce the non-cooperative and cooperative stance through different financial means. Cooperative financial tools include the process of currency exchange across different international borders, and non-cooperative tools include access to local markets that restrict foreign investments.
Risks involved in geopolitics
There are more significant risks involved in geopolitics when compared to the advantages imparted by it. They are:
- Events risks that involve setting dates in advance.
- Exogenous risks are unanticipated risks when compared to a country with the cooperative stance.
- Thematic risks are known to expand over a period of time.