Browsing by Subject "GEOPOLITICS"

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  • Mattlin, Mikael; Wigell, Mikael (2016)
    Geoeconomic power and its use appear to be a crucial, albeit understudied aspect of today's international relations. Traditionally, international power has been thought of in geopolitical rather than geoeconomic terms. Indeed, ever since the famous debate about sea power and land power between Alfred Thayer Mahan and Halford MacKinder at the cusp of the twentieth century, scholars have linked geography with the pursuit of political and military power. However, the term "geoeconomics" is of a more recent origin, and also more vexing than geopolitics. The term is commonly associated with Edward Luttwak's writings in the early 1990s Luttwak (Natl Interes 20:17-24, 1990, Int Econ 7/5:18-67, 1993), although it did not spin a major scholarly discussion at the time. For Luttwak, geoeconomics denoted the successor system of interstate rivalry that emerged in the aftermath of Cold War geopolitics. As a consequence of the rise of major new economic powers, such as China, India and Brazil, there is renewed interest in the concept. Yet, an overview of the literature indicates that there seems to be no agreement on what exactly the term means. This special issue tackles the different ways in which the term geoeconomics is used, in the context of the policies pursued by major regional powers (e.g. China, Russia and Germany). How are we to understand the actions of these regional powers in contexts where economic interests, political power and geography intersect? In the introductory article, we overview the literature and summarise the main arguments of the individual papers.
  • Lizotte, Christopher (2020)
    Laicite, France's idiosyncratic form of secularism, is a complex concept that is dense with historical genealogy, practical contradictions and - crucially - political geographies. In particular, contemporary Laicite is characterized by a state-sponsored model of universal citizenship that regards French Muslims' identity claims with mistrust. This tension, always latent, was brought to the fore by a series of attacks perpetrated self-styled jihadists in January 2015, centered on the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo notorious for its provocations against Islam. The attacks and their aftermath also highlighted a key space where conflicts over Laicite often play out: the French public school, the ecole republicaine. This institution was conceived in its modern form as a mechanism to assimilate through laique pedagogy. Today it is a highly visible space where the optics of race and gender contribute to a narrative of Muslim communautarisme, a willful and defiant communalism that rejects the republican community of citizens. Following a handful of incidents in which students refused to participate in a moment of silence for the victims of the January 2015 attacks, the Ministry of Education undertook an initiative involving disciplinary and pedagogical supports for Laicite in the schools, called the Great Mobilisation for the Republic's Values. Like other past interventions in this area, it operationalizes an assimilating vision of Laicite to bring recalcitrant peripheries into compliance with republican norms. At the same time, though, it reveals the agency of the peripheries to negotiate the terms of Laicite according to local knowledge and needs. On the basis of interviews with educators serving in schools where elements of the Grand Mobilisation were carried out, I show how they push back against the overarching narratives that characterize the initiative and in so doing construct localized and nuanced understandings of the laique social pact.
  • Moisio, Sami (2019)
    Geoeconomics is a contested concept. What seems common to recent attempts to define the concept of geoeconomics is that it is almost invariably discussed with relation to geopolitics. In this paper, I seek to provide a reading of "geoeconomics" from political geography that both evaluates geoeconomic claims on their own terms and, moreover, avoids a political/economy binary that even some of the critical approaches tend to fall into. For this purpose, I provide a selective mapping of some of the ways in which geoeconomics has been scrutinized in IR and in human geography and defined with relation to the concept of geopolitics. I single out two main fields of scholarship. First, I introduce a foreign policy tradition that at least superficially draws from the realist tradition in IR. Second, I discuss various materialist and poststructuralist approaches in political geography that can be at least implicitly connected to the term geoeconomics. Third, I develop a reading of geoeconomics as political geographies of knowledge-intensive capitalism. This perspective turns attention to the geopolitical space economy of capitalism, draws from work in critical human geography, heterodox political economy, and urban studies, and seeks to overcome the separation between geoeconomics and geopolitics.