Geopolitics at the Border of Geography and International Relations: Between Intersubjective and Objective Space

  • Jan Kofroň
Keywords: geopolitics, International Relations, geography, realism, power, critical geopolitics, space


The  main  goal  of  the  article  is  to  highlight  the  marked  difference  between  two understandings of geopolitics and space in general – the understanding that is present in the field of geography and the understanding that is present in the field of International Relations. Whereas in International  Relations  (namely  in  the  case  of  neorealists)  space  is  conceptualized  as  a  material, objective  entity,  in  the  field  of  geography  there  has  been  a  shift  toward  a  conceptualization  of space as an inter-subjective entity. It follows that in the case of neorealists there is some (usually unintentional) tendency to revive (neo)classical geopolitics, or at least some of its basic assumptions. On  the  other  hand,  contemporary  geographers  have  adopted  a  boldly  critical  approach  toward (neo)classical geopolitics. Geographers consider (neo)classical geopolitics as potentially dangerous because  of  its  justification  of  the  conflictual  discourses  prevailing  in  international  politics. The question  remains  whether  the  geographical  neglect  of  objective  space  does  not  undermine  the ability of critical geopolitics to effectively intervene in practical political issues.

Author Biography

Jan Kofroň