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Strategy in the Contemporary World

Strategy in the Contemporary World (7th edn)

John Baylis, James J. Wirtz, and Jeannie L. Johnson
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date: 26 September 2023

p. 29717. Geopolitics and Grand Strategylocked

p. 29717. Geopolitics and Grand Strategylocked

  • Stefanie Ortmann
  •  and Nick Whittaker


This chapter discusses the concept of geopolitics and its role in formulating and implementing a grand strategy. It first provides an overview of the relationship between grand strategy and geography, before explaining how the meanings of grand strategy and geopolitics evolved in response to changing world historical contexts. It then considers the reasons why geopolitics and grand strategy are linked to the politics of great powers and why these concepts are currently making a comeback. In particular, it examines the revival of geopolitical thinking after the Second World War and how geopolitical reasoning informed containment as a grand strategy during the cold war. The chapter also takes a look at the pitfalls and problems associated with formulating a grand strategy, especially in today’s complex international environment. Finally, it argues that there is a need to rethink geopolitics with the ultimate goal of balancing ends and means.

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