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On the Use and Abuse of Geopolitics
* 1 , * 2
1  University of Applied Sciences, Munich (Germany); Clare Hall, UK - Cambridge
2  Bavarian School of Public Policy, Munich


Originally, geopolitics was a theory that intended to conceptualize strategic insight into the world-wide political action of Great Powers governing their foreign policies. Hence, it was essentially a product of the late colonialism. In the tradition of Spengler and Toynbee, organicistic theories of the state dominated at the time, and authors like Kjellén and Mackinder followed this line in principle, not without influence onto the further development in Europe including the First World War as well as the Second. In more recent time, the US-American policy in the sense of Kissinger and especially Brzezinski continued this conception in one way or another. In the meantime, mainly during the eighties of the twentieth century, authors like Agnew and Toal have introduced what is called “critical geopolitics” trying to reconcile constructivist as well as realistic approaches to political theory and liberate them from organicistic ingredients by introducing post-colonial and cultural aspects, respectively. Some consequences are discussed here in detail, with a particular view to present-day populism.

Keywords: critical geopolitics, constructivist political theory, realistic political theory, populism