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EUS-201 European Geography

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1 EUS-201 European Geography
Lecture 2 EUS-201 European Geography James Leigh University of Nicosia (Tracy Bucco)

2 EUS-201e – European Geography Why Study Geopolitics with IR?
Dr. James Leigh, CGeog. FRGS. University of Nicosia Merkel/Sarkozy: Putin: Ahmadinejad:

3 With Special Reference to Europe
European Union N America Europe Asia Africa S America Maps:

4 Readings Friedman, G. (2008) America in the 21st Century [Video], Stratfor Inc: Chapters 1 and 2, in Leigh, J. (2009) Death of Nations in Civilization Clash, Nicosia, Afi Touch Editions. Chapter 7, in Ostergren, C. and Rice, J. (2004), The Europeans: A Geography of People, Culture and Environment, NY, The Guildford Press Wolff, A, (2008) Geography as a Diagnostic Tool in International Relations: A Geographic Analysis of the European Union’s Eastward Enlargement, Paper Presented at the International Studies Association Conference, San Francisco, California, March 28, (see course notes/handouts) also online

5 Geopolitics: a branch of Geography
“The most stable factor upon which the power of a nation depends is obviously geography.” (Morgenthau, 1966, p. 106) Geopolitics: “The law of history that peoples must expand by ‘conquering space’, or perish, and the relative power of nations is determined by the mutual relation of the conquered spaces.” (Morgenthau, 1966, p. 153) Morgenthau is critical of the abuse of geopolitics turned into a pseudoscience by the Germans as they justified their actions into and during WWII. “International Relations is the discussion of how the international system works. Geopolitics is a particular method for analyzing it [through a spatial view]. [Mackinder said] that [t]he single most important factor in how nations behave is geography. It defines their character, economies, politics, and military capabilities. So where International Relations is the arena, Geopolitics is the science that turns to explaining and predicting.” (Friedman, 2008) Morganthau,

6 Why Geography? 1. Only with Geography can we see what is happening in IR with a full spatial view – this is vital for a full understanding. 2. Geography (Geopolitics) is largely shunned in the world of IR and diplomacy. Diplomats shun geopolitics – it is too real and stark for them. (You can’t always talk up or dialogue a solution.) 4. Two favorite geopoliticians of mine: venerable (94 years old) Bernard Lewis (Princeton) and late Samuel Huntington (Harvard) are world names, macro-historians and geopoliticians. 5. Some very prestigious schools take geopolitics seriously – University of London has a Masters degree in geopolitics. (One of my students is doing it.)

7 Geography and macro-history 1
Geography and macro-history 1. Macro-history is the study of history for major trends and movements, and their effects, to understand by precedent, what current world events portend. (Nothing new under the sun.) 2. Without geography (with macro-history) we don’t know what is happening where, and how it will affect elsewhere, now and in the future. 3. Geopolitics: the influences that geography has on political relations between countries; and also the study of nations with particular reference to borders and the struggle for power and dominion in international relationships.

8 Geographic brain teasers
Jerusalem, Geographic brain teasers East Jerusalem in West Bank West Berlin in East Germany Berlin,

9 Purpose of Presentation
Emphasize the importance of geography (geopolitics) in international relations Demonstrate use of geography to analyze international affairs. How geography influences Europe both: Internally among the EU nations Externally (internationally) outside the EU with international relationships

10 Geography’s Relevance
Geography plays a role in international relations. Shapes attitudes and encourages or constrains actions and policy. One of the permanent and fundamental causes of a state’s character Its viability Its society’s behaviour – both mental and actions Its internal and external interactions. Despite power of geography in mankind’s affairs, it is downplayed in academia as a factor in international relations.

11 How Geography Influences Nations
There are physical and human geographic phenomena Some of the main physical phenomena: Topography (shape of land surface and what is on it: landforms: mountains, rivers, seas and human environment and constructions) Size (shape and dimensions) Location (international relationships: borders, proximity) Climate (climate effects on human activity and development) Natural resources (trade and industrial development)

12 1. Topography Great Northern Plain Largest, funnel shaped
Surrounding natural barriers – mountains and seas Climate (temperate/moist/soils – rich agriculture Also internal barriers, forests, rivers Populations interacting (ethnicity within European culture) Push/pull factors across pan European culture vs national ethnicity South somewhat different looking to Mediterranean and less to north to Europe Danube links areas including SE to Central Europe (Germany) and Black Sea Mountains Rivers

13 2. Size Affects power and strength
Strong states ~ big states: except naval states - Europe’s colonizers; Japan unique; Australia Big ~ climatic, economic diversity, and large manpower base Small ~ weak, lack of power, subject to foreign intervention Shape – Compact (circle) more cohesive and defendable World,

14 Size: Europe – mostly smallish sovereign states Individually each is diverse and “weak” - can’t sustain world hegemony Many smallish states, ~no physical barriers, especially in north throughout the great plain Much international interaction in successive periods of war and peace German history pursues hegemony International intervention stalled German hegemony – e.g. UK and USA triumph over Nazis in WWII EU:

15 3. Locations Russia Who are the neighbors?
Where are the resources, ports, links etc What are the natural and physical borders? German heartland Borders Russia across great plain Buffers? Smaller weaker states and conflict zone between big powers External: Main direct Eurasian threat from Russia most significant Buffer: Eastern Europe Internal: Germany is Europe’s “centre” and most powerful nation German heartland Buffer states Centre, Buffer,

16 Euro-Russian Perennial Problem
Great Plan is shared – easy travel Freezing winters act as a winter ground-level “border” No real physical border between Europe and Russia So borders and sphere of influence often contested through politics and force Moscow is in physical Europe Ural Mountains end physical Europe Wikimedia

17 Russian main gas pipelines to Europe

18 EU:Turkey, Central Asia
Nord Stream Germany:Russia South Stream Russia:Bulgaria etc Nabucco EU:Turkey, Central Asia Sidelines Russia


20 Language/Religion Association
Germanic Slavic Romance Language/Religion Association South and west Germany mainly Catholic (31% Germany) Germanic Slavic Shatter belt Romance Religion Languages (MacDonald, 1997) Germanic Languages ~ Protestant Slavic Languages ~ Orthodox Romances Language ~ Catholic (Wikimedia Commons)

21 Orthodox (Eastern) Christianity
Orthodox (Eastern) Christianity Western Christianity Islam Note: Christianity and Islam are neighbors, also Christianity is split in two, Western (Roman) and Eastern (Orthodoxy)

22 Historic Euro Empire(s) & Islam
Islam ~ AD 1000 (Leigh, 2009, pp. 24, 29)

23 Potential Leigh, 2009, p. 40

24 4. Climate Affects level of flexible productive activities
Temperate ~ good for agriculture Sufficient rainfall for agriculture Not to hot or too cold, so convenient for outdoor activity / farming Note the south – Mediterranean climate – N:S divide Europe Climates:

25 5. Resources Without massive levels of imports Europe will die in days or weeks. Europe import huge amounts of food, fossil fuels, minerals etc Minerals and fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas) are vital for economic development International self sufficiency  strength independence International dependence  imports  vulnerable dependence Europe depends on Islamic Persian Gulf countries for huge 40% of its oil Vulnerable to chokepoints (sea gates) Chokepoints:

26 Where is EU in New Tripolar World of Civilization Clash?
Europe Christian Asia Mystical Non-Arab Iran PanArabia Islam © Leigh, 2009

27 Conclusion Geopolitics shows us what is happening and where, and the spatial implications for: Sovereign nations The vitality of their economies and peoples and human activity As it influences their borders and international relationships Geopolitics shows us the spatial specifics in the struggle for power among the nations We have seen some of the major geographical factors that influence EU internally and externally

28 (Tracy Bucco)

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