Geopolitics and global security: culture, identity, and the ‘pogo syndrome’
Geopolitics is a complex cultural matter, where identities are formulated, represented and repressed in contemporary political discourses. Geopolitics is also about the crucially important power to define danger, and about the ability to describe the world in ways that specify appropriate political behaviours in particular contexts to provide ‘security’ against those dangers. The power to construct a popular understanding of the context is a crucial discursive task of geopolitics. In the last decade, many of the dangers are understood as ‘global’ and the response in policy-making circles has often been to discuss matters of newly defined threats in terms of ‘global security.’ The phenomena of international security, diplomacy and the ‘high’ politics of international relations between the great powers have become very obviously conflated with concerns about popular culture and cultural identity in the discourses of geopolitics (Dijkink 1996). Indeed, as the critical literature on these topics now makes clear, international security and the practices of war are premised on some very powerful, takenforgranted cultural constructions, not the least of which are the cartographic assumptions about nation-states (Walker 1993; Shapiro 1997).