Political science encompasses a wide variety of areas. In times of globalization where the decisions of each country have a close and rapid impact on others , becoming aware of the influences of such decisions is vital for coexistence in the world.
Geopolitics thus becomes a useful tool for analyzing the international situation and making pertinent decisions taking into account a wide variety of factors. Its complexity and the large number of areas it covers make it difficult to define what it is and what it is for. However, we will try to clarify these and other doubts in this article.
Origin of the term geopolitics
The Swedish Rudolf Kjellen is considered as the founder of geopolitics . This geographer exposed the basic pillars of this discipline in 1900 in his book Introduction to Swedish Geography. However, the concept was never mentioned. But it was not until 1916 when his most important book (The State as a way of life) saw the light and exposed the term “geopolitics” for the first time.
At the same time, the geographer Friedrich Ratzel also theorized about this social science, arguing that the State is like a living organism, like a human society, which must grow, expand or otherwise die. This gives borders the traits of dynamism, change and influence over everything that they encompass within .
What is geopolitics
Within politics we find disciplines such as psychology, political anthropology, political economy and geopolitics. In the latter, the study of international relations takes on special relevance. To carry out its study, the effects of geography at various levels and sociopolitical events are taken into account.
Through the study of these and other variables, we seek to understand political relations and predict the repercussions that one or another action will have at international and macroeconomic levels.
This is why the studies that are carried out are mainly of causality between one political event and another, whether in the short or long term. Obviously, as it happens with the meteorology,The further we move from the present, the more difficult geopolitical predictions become . Attempting to improve the certainty with which such predictions are made is also a central research area within this discipline.
The term geopolitics is ambiguous and covers many areas of knowledge, which makes it difficult to specify a definition. In addition, to add to the confusion, the definitions that are given at the academic level in universities and those that are usually used on the street and in work environments are far apart; however we can conclude that geopolitics is the joint study of international relations and historical, political and social phenomena .
Differences: Geopolitics and political geography
Political geography relates the state to the environment , studying how these two areas are related. The word geography here is understood in its relation to terrestrial characteristics such as rivers, coasts, seas, mountains, peninsulas, etc., in addition to territorial and social characteristics. Therefore, the objective is to describe the features of the state and politics taking into account the nature of the territory.
Keeping in mind the description that we have given above about geopolitics, we can conclude that a difference between these two branches of knowledge is that political geography is a branch of geography and geopolitics belongs more to political science without having so much in mind the elements of the nature.
Another also considerable difference is that political geography focuses on making descriptions of states, their powers and territorial distribution, while geopolitics focuses on intervening to modify international characteristics to improve them in favor of whoever uses this social science.
Relationship with other areas
Geopolitics is a transversal discipline that is nourished and helped by more general areas that we all know. Among them we find history , through which he learns about the consequences of political decisions and past events; international relations , which allow you to understand how countries interact; and sociology , which studies the behavior of social groups.
Who uses Geopolitics
Taking into account that a geopolitical study covers topics as diverse as those we have seen, its applications can be very different. It will largely depend on who wants geopolitical advice and what resources are available.
In any case, regardless of the variables that are analyzed (culture, environment, sociological factors, international relations) they will always be applied to prediction and decision-making at the international level, that is, foreign policy.
The applicants of these studies can be from non-profit groups that seek to carry out or improve interventions, such as NGOs or private institutions that seek to improve their influence and position vis-a-vis other competitors..
This aspect of geopolitics is relatively new. Its objective is to use the tools and knowledge of geopolitics to promote the development of large companies or multinational organizations .
These organizations usually have power and resources superior to many states in the world, so equating the operation of these business empires with those of entire countries is not nonsense.
Thus, corporate geopolitics is a subdiscipline that systematically studies macropolitical, economic, and relational variables between countries, markets, and international companies.
Its objectives, therefore, will be toPropose and carry out strategies that allow multinational organizations to expand territorially and economically, whether they are sales of products or services, always paying attention to competitors from other countries.
While in its focus on the expansion of internal borders, this science contributes to the analysis and study of national markets and to the coherent design of a strategy for physical expansion and/or the distribution network of products and services offered by companies with presence at the national level.