Examining Mackinder's Heartland Thesis





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Published on May 27, 2017

Now with 100% less references to 'yellow peril', 'struggle between German and Slav', and 'Asiatics'.

Halford Mackinder's 'Heartland Thesis ' is, rightly or wrongly, one of the foundational theories of modern geopolitics. Beginning from basic assumptions about terrain's impact on human societies, The Heartland Thesis reasons out a theory of worldwide dimensions (literally).

This video attempts to sketch out the theory's reasoning, put his thought into proper historical and political context, assess the Thesis' recommendations and address a few criticisms of his theory.

For the record, I don't buy the criticisms that a) the Thesis has become irrelevant in the post-nuclear world, and b) that speculating about this stuff is somehow analogous to agreeing with Lebensraum or whatever (in fact, Mackinder intended his theory to help defend democracy).

All errors are my own.

Mackinder, 'Democratic Ideals and Reality'
Mackinder, 'The Geographical Pivot of History'
Mackinder, 'The Round World and the Winning of the Peace', Foreign Affairs

Dugan A. 'Mackinder and His Critics Reconsidered', The Journal of Politics
Gray C. 'In Defence of the Heartland', Comparative Strategy
Kaplan R, The Revenge of Geography

Google Maps: for the maps.
Google Image Search: approximate borders of Imperial Russia, USSR, Nazi Germany.
Google Search: for China's 'Belt and Road Initiative'.
Wikipedia: for populations and basic historical cross-checking.

I do accept responsibility for winging the boundaries of the European colonial empires (sorry Port Arthur, Tsingtao and Port Edward; sorry for French Djibouti and French India etc etc etc.)

Made using Powerpoint 2013.


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