chapter  1
Placing political geography
Pages 14

One of the enduring fascinations of human society is the way in which the competing claims over the control and management of land and resources are played out. Unlike the mythical concord of Macaulay’s ancient Rome, the reality is that individuals and interest groups of all kinds and at all levels are continually vying with each other to promote their own interests, thereby destabilising and changing the existing order and remaking the world in their own image. Political geography, in the broadest sense, is the academic study of all these varied resource conflicts and the way in which they are resolved. In other words, it is about the forces that go to shape the world we inhabit and how they play themselves out in the landscape across the globe. As such, it is relevant to everyone who is curious about the way we live and wants to understand better what might be happening all around them.