John Agnew
2022 |
Political Science

A 2023 Choice Reviews Outstanding Academic Title Geopolitics is not dead, but nor does it involve the same old logic of a world determined by physical geography in a competition between Great Powers. Hidden Geopolitics recaptures the term to explore how the geography of power works both globally and nationally to structure and govern the workings of the global political economy. Globalization, far from its antithesis, is tightly wound up in the assumptions and practices of geopolitics, relating to the scope of regulatory authority, state sponsorship, and the political power of businesses to operate worldwide. Agnew shows how this “hidden” geopolitics and globalization have been vitally connected. He focuses on three moments: the origins of contemporary globalization in the policies pursued by successive US governments and allies after 1945 and its continued relevance even as the US role in the world changes; the close connection between geopolitical history and status of different countries and their relative capacities to exploit the possibilities and limit the costs of globalization; and new regulatory and standard-setting agencies which emerged under the sponsorship of major geopolitical powers but have grown in power and authority as the dominant states have become limited in their ability to manage the explosion of transnational transactions on their own. Agnew argues that it is time to move on from the narrow inter-imperial cast of geopolitics and the foolish policy advice it produces. The old perspective on geopolitics has taken on new life with the rise of national-populist movements in Europe and the United States and the reinvigoration of territorial-authoritarian regimes in Russia and China. Notwithstanding this trend, we must see the contemporary world through the lens of these complex, “hidden” geopolitical underpinnings that Agnew seeks to expose.

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Hidden Geopolitics

Governance in a Globalized World