Geopolitics, at least in the sense that we practice, is neither deterministic in its approach to understanding nations and their interactions nor simply synonymous with current events or international relations. At its most basic, geopolitics as a discipline seeks to explain the intersection between place and people, or more specifically between place and the nation, and the impact they have on one another. Practitioners assess geography, politics, economics, security, history and society inclusively to build a deeper understanding of nations, sub-nations, regions and the world.
Constraints, Compulsions and Circumstances
Geopolitics teaches us how to identify and assess the compulsions and constraints on nations and their principal actors — the driving forces and limiters that shape the behavior and direction of nations and their interactions. The balance between “compulsions” (what must be done) and “constraints” (what cannot be done) — a tension that induces or restricts certain behaviors, actions and directions — changes with differing “circumstances,” or the current state of being domestically, regionally or internationally at a given moment in time. Thus, some compulsions may exist for years or decades, but only in a very special set of circumstances do they really induce action.
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