1. TheoreticalFramework of Critical GeopoliticsGeopolitics was born intime of period where imperialistic rivalry between competing empires wasintensive, the lines of the borders had been changing by clashes and warsbetween empires and reflecting it’s meaning in history and on the worldpolitical map.1After changing the world in the end of the Cold War, there was a need to startunderstanding of the geopolitical problem in a new way. This led scholars tostart thinking critically and analytically.
To understand critical geopoliticsdespite from classical geopolitics, development of geopolitical approachesshould be paid attention to see differences. 1.1. Evolution of Geopolitics: From Classicalto Critical GeopoliticsThe term Geopolitics,which was coined by the Swedish political scientist Rudolf Kjellen in the endof the 19th century,2 is combination ofgeographical and political factors that relates to the state and has animpaction on state’s foreign policy.3 Geopolitics has beendefined with a lot of definitions but all the meanings that have in common isthat geopolitics is nothing but interrelationship of space and power.
4 During the Cold War,geopolitics was perceived as a simple cartographic capture of the world wheredifferent political states were competing with each other for obtaining powerof leadership. The main concept of geopolitics in the Cold War was aboutdominoes: If one domino falls, rest of the dominoes follow, in other words, if spreadingof communism starts in one area, it threatens other adjacent territories.5 This geopoliticalconsideration of the Cold War, having superpower of the world, goes to theclassical geopolitical approach.
At the beginning of the20th century, Halford Mackinder, British geographer, who can becounted as a one the founding fathers of geopolitics, gave some specificapproaches about the important role of the geography. Mackinder’s strategicalformulations were important for political leaders and their policies. He gave meaningfuldefinitions to the geographical regions of the world in which control ofEastern Europe was significant for controlling the world. Those formulationsbecame known as Heartland Theory:Who rules Eastern Europecommands the Heartland;Who rules the Heartlandcommands the World Island;Who rules the WorldIsland commands the world.6After Mackinder’s initialformulations, his theory started to be developed by other new ideas of othergeopolitical thinkers. German political geographer, Karl Haushofer, who wasformer military commander too, was sharing Mackinder’s ideas that politicalleaders of the states should have geographical education and internationalpolitical space was a struggle for survival between rivalry competing states. Hewas considering that geopolitics could make predictions in certain ways: “Itwill help our statesmen…see political situations as they really are.
Only the geopoliticiancan see what is”.71 Gearóid ÓTuathail, Simon Dalby and Paul Routledge, TheGeopolitics Reader, Routledge, London, 1998, pg.15.
2 Daniel H. Deudney,Encyclopedia Britannica, Geopolitics, https://www.britannica.com/topic/geopolitics3 Merriam-WebsterDictionary, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/geopolitics4 Simon Dalby, Creating the Second Cold War, PinterPublisher, London, 1990, pg.335 Ibid, pg.346 Gearóid Ó Tuathail, Simon Dalby and PaulRoutledge, The Geopolitics Reader,Routledge, London, 1998, pg.17-18.7 Ibid, pg.20.