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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Contrary to Mackinder, he believed that geography gave the U. In the late s, German geopolitical science was flourishing, especially because of the Munich School and its widely read ane Die Zeitschrift fuer Geopolitik. But especially in order to establish a modern and articulated system of communication, Spykman explained, geography again played a crucial role, since the shape and topography of territory heavily conditioned such an enterprise.

Strategically, there was no difference between Germany dominating all the amd to the Ural or Russia controlling all the way to Germany, and as both scenarios were equally threatening to the US. He explained his geostrategy and argued that the balance of power in Eurasia directly affected US security.

He then highlighted the crucial importance of geopolitical change, as history had changed the salience of certain areas and resources. In the industrial-technological era of the Cold War, the two superpowers were very large states: Other than the two continents, there are offshore islands of significance are Britain, Japan and the New Worldbuffered by the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.

As such, it will not be in a position to compete with US sea power. Retrieved from ” https: The Rimland has great importance gfography of its demographic weight, natural resources, and industrial development.


This article needs additional citations for verification. Sharing a characteristic that is proper of all serious geopolitical analysts, Spykman founded his method in history, and most importantly, in long-run history. The Geography of the Peace was published the year after Spykman’s death. foeign

Spykman has been less accurately and less deeply reconsidered. There are two offshore continents flanking Eurasia: He then came to the United States around to enter a doctoral program at the University of Californiawhere he received a bachelor’s degree ingrography master’s degree inand a Ph.

He was, in this respect, strikingly prescient, and well ahead of his time.

Nicholas J. Spykman – Wikipedia

His work on geopolitics and geostrategy led him to be to known as the ” godfather of containment. 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.

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 exploration of the entire world means that the foreign policy of any nation will affect more than its immediate neighbors; it will affect the alignment of nations throughout the world’s regions.

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

Raw material resources and industrial organization have therefore become the prerequisites of power whether by land or by sea. Mahan Sumida The Politics of Writing Global Space. Nicholas John Spykman pronounced “Speak-man”, 13 October — 26 June was an American political scientist who was one of the founders of the classial realist school in American foreign policy, transmitting Eastern European political thought to the United States.

Indeed, the Soviet’s raw materials were largely located to the West of the Ural Mountains as well. Maritime mobility opened up the possibility of a new geopolitical structure: Spykman was opposed to European integration and argued that US interests favored balanced power in Europe, rather geograpyh integrated power.


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. Again, Spykman differs from Mackinder, who sees Eurasian wars as historically pitting the Geographg against the sea powers for control of the rimland, establishing a land power-sea power opposition.

Owen and Francis Sempa in the U. He thus anticipated the end of the Soviet-Western alliance and the formation of a Western alliance against Moscow axed on the North-Atlantic.

Examples of strategies implemented to overcome natural barriers and to exploit territorial potential were found by Spykman in ancient, medieval, and modern history, in European as well as in American or Asian history Spykman Still, the Soviet Union was to remain the greatest land power in Asia and could be a peacekeeper or a problem. As a result, the theoretical and analytical work of Dutch-born American scholar Nicholas J.

Spykman sees that its importance to be the reason that the Rimland will be crucial to containing the Heartland, but Mackinder had believed that the Outer or Insular Crescent would be the most important factor in containing the Heartland.

Spyiman implications of the geographical and ecological settings for human polict and expansionism have been also analysed by Bradley Thayer in his groundbreaking work on evolutionism and international relations Thayer All of the examples that Spykman introduced in his and articles were taken from history, instead than from mere theories.