Self-fulfilling Geopolitics?

Led by Stefano Guzzini

Jan 2004 – Dec 2006


This research project is about the theoretical and institutional underpinnings of the revival of geopolitical thought in Europe and its effects on foreign policies. This project examines the puzzle that exactly when the Cold War came to an end and seemed to herald the superiority of non-realist approaches in International Relations, many European countries (in particular: France, Italy, Hungary, FRY, Russia) have experienced a revival of a distinctively geopolitical tradition. In some countries, such thought has reached an almost hegemonic position.

The project has a double aim: it not only attempts to analyse the content of this new geopolitical thought, placing it in intellectual traditions, but also tries to embed it into a double political and sociological analysis. First, it wants to explore the relationship between the success of geopolitical thought and its (national) political and institutional context. This refers to the political economy of knowledge production or the national organisation of foreign policy expertise. Second, it investigates, in return, the effect such thought has on that very reality it is supposed to analyse (mainly in terms of foreign policies). The project will be conducted together with regional/national specialists.


  • Alexander Astrov (CEU, Budapest and Tartu University) and Natalia Morozova: ‘The silence of the law or geopolitics from the Heartland’.
  • Andreas Behnke (Towson University, USA): ‘The politics of Geopolitik in post-Cold War Germany’
  • Pinar Bilgin (Bilkent University, Ankara): ‘The politics of the increasing ubiquity of geopolitics in Turkey’.
  • Elisabetta Brighi (EUI, Florence) and Fabio Petito (Università di Napoli l'Orientale). ‘Geopolitics “in the Land of the Prince”: a Passe-Partout to Global Power Politics?’
  • Petr Drulák (Institute of International Relations, Prague): ‘Czech Geopolitics: second-best forever’.
  • Merje Kuus (University of British Columbia, Vancouver): ‘Banal Huntingtonianism: civilizational geopolitics in Estonia’.
  • Julia Motoc (University of Bucharest and NYU): ‘The rebirth of geopolitics in Romania: change and continuity’.
  • Ola Tunander (PRIO, Oslo): ‘Geopolitics of the North, geopolitics of the weak: a post-Cold War return to Rudolf Kjellén’.
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