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Geography and Foreign Policy, I – Volume 32 Issue 1 – Nicholas J. Spykman. GEOGRAPHY AND FOREIGN POLICY, I NICHOLAS J. SPYKMAN. Yale University. “La politique de toutes les puissances est dans leur geographie,”‘ conceded. Nicholas John Spykman was an American political scientist who was one of the founders of the In his writings on geography and foreign policy, Spykman was somewhat of a geographical determinist. Since geography was “the most.

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While Spykman accepts the first two as defined, he rejects the simple grouping the Asian countries into one “monsoon land. He clarified Spykman As a result, the theoretical and analytical work of Dutch-born American scholar Nicholas J.

He died of cancer on 26 Juneat the age of 49, in New Haven, Connecticut. Spykman was born on 13 October in Amsterdam. Spykman’s conception of the Rimland bears greater resemblance to Alfred Thayer Mahan ‘s “debated and debatable zone” than to Mackinder’s Inner or Marginal Crescent.

The US was fighting a war against Germany to prevent Europe’s conquest, and it would not make sense to federalize or to unify Europe after a war that had been fought to preserve balance. Owen and Francis Sempa in the U. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

His work on geopolitics and geostrategy led him to be to known as the ” godfather of containment. Raw material resources and industrial organization have therefore become the prerequisites of power whether by gsography or by sea.

The Rimland has great importance because of its demographic weight, natural resources, and industrial development. He explained his geostrategy and argued that the balance of power in Eurasia directly affected US security. Spykman felt that the Anglo-American scientific community needed to respond to the German authors who were unduly influenced by the Nazi ideology, and that improving the understanding of political-geographic factors affecting power and international relations was an urgent task for Fofeign scholars.


American people of Dutch descent Geopoliticians Guggenheim Fellows Military geographers Political realists births deaths Dutch journalists Dutch diplomats University of California alumni University of California faculty Yale University faculty.

The New York Times.

Mr Bordonaro is currently writing an essay on the origins and evolution of Anglo-American geopolitical thought. A Sterling Professor of International Relations, teaching as part of the Institute for International Studies at Yale Universityone of his prime concerns was making his students geographically literate, as geopolitics was impossible without geographic understanding. There are two offshore continents flanking Eurasia: The implications of the geographical and ecological settings for human aggressiveness and expansionism have been also analysed by Bradley Thayer in his groundbreaking work on evolutionism and international relations Thayer On the other hand, critical geopolitics has produced a number of in-depth studies which, together with accurate biographical works, have helped scholars to better understand the cultural origins, biases, and theoretical limitations of classical geopolitics.

In the late s, German geopolitical science was flourishing, especially because of the Munich School and its widely read journal Die Zeitschrift fuer Geopolitik.

Rediscovering Spykman – the Rimland, Geography of Peace and Foreign Policy

Spykman of Yale Dies at geographg. He then highlighted the crucial importance of geopolitical change, as history had changed the salience of certain areas and resources.

Induring some of the hardest times in WWII, he almost caused a scandal as he publicly expressed his unconventional views about the desirable post-war American diplomacy. Spykman states that historically, battles have pitted either Britain and Rimland allies against Russia and its Rimland allies or Britain and Russia together against a dominating Rimland power. He then came to the United States around to enter a doctoral program at the University of Californiawhere he received a bachelor’s degree ina master’s degree inand a Ph.

Views Read Edit View history. However, his contribution to geopolitical analysis has certainly not been limited to that. Since geography was “the most fundamentally conditioning factor because of its relative permanence,” it is of primary relevance in analyzing a state’s potential foreign policy.


Such views were expressed by Spykman when the anti-Japanese and anti-German propaganda was at its heights in America and Washington was allied with the Soviets against the Tripartite Pact Williamson As the amphibious buffer zone between the land powers and sea powers, it must defend itself from both sides, the cause of its fundamental security problems.

Rediscovering Spykman – the Rimland, Geography of Peace and Foreign Policy |

On the other hand, comparatively small countries with large industrial bases could still rank among the medium-sized powers, like Germany, Japan, France, the UK, or Israel, but they could certainly not compete with the giants for world domination.

John Foster Dulles and the founders of the containment strategy would borrow heavily from Spykman, as well as Mackinder, when forging the American Cold War strategy. Spykman sees both continents’ geopolitical status as determined respectively by the state of control over the Mediterranean Sea and the “Asiatic Mediterranean.

Presciently, Spykman also foresaw the irresistible rise of the Pacific Ocean as a key route for world trade. While the USSR encompassed a great expanse of land, its arable land remained in a small portion of its territory, mostly in the West.

Concerned with the balance of powerhe argued that isolationismwhich relied on the oceans to protect the United States ” hemispheric ” or “quarter defense”was bound to fail. He worked as a journalist in various parts of the world during much of the s and also served as a diplomatic assistant for the Netherlands in Egypt and the Dutch East Indies. He became a full professor in [1] and the chair of the university’s department of international relations in However, his track record remains impressive.

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