Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Geopolitics denotes, generically, strategic power struggles among states over the political control of territories and resources. More specifically, it suggests that politics is primarily defined by geographical location, territorial expansion, and interstate competition over finite spaces. The late-19th-century interimperial rivalries provided the historical context for the rise of geopolitical thought across the core countries of the imperial zone, rearticulating the relation between economic expansion and territorial control. The final division of the last extra-European vacant spaces generated an acute awareness of the closure of absolute space in a new “planetary” age. Interimperial relations came to be regarded as intensified zero-sum conflicts over the redivision of an occupied planet. This closed spatial horizon prompted a reconceptualization of the state as a territorial phenomenon in space, locked into a permanent struggle for survival. The revalorization and politicization of geography and its absorption into a reconceptualized science of politics forged the new field ...