chapter  9
Dreams into action: The making of national foreign policy
Pages 18

Although the word geopolitics was only coined in the early years of the twentieth century, applied geopolitics has been practised from time immemorial by those seeking to extend their political power and influence across the globe. The academic interest by geographers in the whole concept of geopolitics in the early nineteenth century led quickly to their being co-opted by policy-makers in government to help them develop and justify new strategies for reforming and stabilising the world order. It was a heady period of public recognition for the discipline, which was just beginning to establish itself as a serious area of academic study in its own right. Unfortunately, as was explained in Chapter 8, the love affair was short-lived. Geography and geographers were accused of providing specious scientific and academic justification for political strategies that were no different from those of a succession of rapacious political and military leaders through history, who had sought to extend their territorial power and influence at the expense of their weaker neighbours.