Interview 1016 – Tim Ball Outlines 20th Century Theories of Geopolitics

by | Mar 19, 2015 | Interviews | 1 comment

Dr. Tim Ball of joins us again to continue our ongoing exploration of geography, climate and politics. In this conversation we explore 20th century geopolitical theories and theorists, from Ratzel’s Lebensraum to Mackinder’s “Heartland” to Spykman’s “Rimland” to Cohen’s “Divided World.” We also explore the rise of NATO in the mid-20th century and the role of the BRICS in shaping the world of the 21st.

For previous editions of this interview series, please see part one and part two.

Influences of Geographic Environment: On the Basis of Ratzel’s System of Anthropo-Geography

World Conquest : The Heartland Theory of Halford J. Mackinder

Spykman’s World

Geography and politics in a world divided

The Influence of Alfred Thayer Mahan Upon The Imperial Japanese Navy

1 Comment

  1. Very fascinating, and it all hearkens back to long-forgotten teaching in my youth. The 1960’s classroom where I and other “accelerated” students were being groomed as cold warriors, was covered in maps with movements of armies and peoples diagrammed. Much of what Dr. Ball talks about rings a distant bell. Yes, we covered this in some detail, it was considered crucial. Well, it is crucial.

    There is something to the notion that people are shaped to some extent by their geographical location. I was born and raised in forest lowland, so at any given time the horizon was only as far as had been cleared. All young men were expected to know how to wield axe and chainsaw and bush hog mower. This was so long ago that any clearing of forest was considered progress of civilization, a decade or so before we were much concerned about Nature or preservation.

    The woods are lovely but it does make your world small. Now I live in the Southwest US, where in any direction are visible distant mountain ranges, and the sky is overwhelmingly large. Living here has changed my nature, I believe. I see everything more holistically, on a larger canvas.

    So yeah, understanding the ‘geo’ in geo-politics is crucial now more than ever, because the Internet firehose spews headlines and propaganda at a furious rate. Without a footing in ‘grounded’ reality, we are lost. Thanks for getting into this, James and Dr. Ball.

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