Political geography has produced some of the most radical and innovative ideas in human geography in the past twenty years. The meaning and significance of traditional political subdivisions, such as the state, have had to be fundamentally re-evaluated in the face of the globalisation of society and economy and this has forced political geographers to look for new ways of explaining the dynamics of the world system.
Political Geography provides a stimulating and concise introduction to the key themes of the subdiscipline, which moves beyond the study of the state to encompass the spatial consequences of power at all levels. It is divided into three sections:
· Process and Patterns, considers how and why societies allocate and manage territory and why exclusive control over defined areas has become such an overwhelming preoccupation. The main vehicle for this is the state and the different ways in which states are organised and the preconditions for their political success are the main focus for this section.
· Ideology and Geopolitical Visions, looks beyond the state to evaluate critically the geopolitical strategies of successful expansionist powers that have enabled them to stamp their values and influence beyond their immediate political boundaries. Of growing importance in this regard at the present time is the ruthless political struggle to achieve dominance over the world's oceans.
· Beyond the State, extends the argument further to examine the impact that globalisation has had on political structures and on political relationships across the globe. In particular, it addressesissues such as the inequalities in the distribution of wealth and the apparent inability of existing political institutions to remedy the situation.
In the conclusion, the book asks whether the existing concepts and models used by political geographers are sufficiently robust to be able to contribute usefully to the analysis of the new world order in the 21st century. This student friendly textbook is a valuable and accessible introduction to the broad themes of political geography