Critical geopolitics

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Critical geopolitics was established as a poststructural approach, which insists that rather than being an apolitical influence on international politics, as conventional accounts of geopolitics would argue, geographical relationships and entities are specific to historical and cultural circumstances. As the meaning of geography can be made to change, there is a politics to the use of geographical concepts in arguments about international relations. Following Foucault, critical geopolitics analyzes discourses of geography in international relations theory and practice to examine the power relations supported by such representations. Various attempts have been made to apply the critical geopolitics approach to the analysis of political speeches, policy documents, and popular culture. More recently, scholars have sought to go beyond the approach's origins in textual analysis to provide critical accounts of geopolitics which understand the inscription of international politics in the body, take account of the multiple practices that comprise the geopolitical, and offer an extended understanding of agency that takes in a variety of nonhuman actants in the theorization of both the -politics and the geo- in geopolitics.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Human Geography (Second Edition)
EditorsAudrey Kobayashi
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)978-0-08-102296-2
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Dec 2019


  • Assemblage
  • Discourse
  • Feminism
  • International politics
  • Post-structuralism
  • Postcolonialism
  • Posthumanism
  • Power/knowledge
  • Realism
  • Statecraft


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