This article will discuss the contribution of Halford John Mackinder, one of the earliest and most influential of the contributors to the discussion. Around the young geographer, Halford J. Mackinder, grew concerned with the changing balance of international power. He argued that. This largely outdated view influenced some geopolitical thinking. Sir Halford John Mackinder was a British geographer who wrote a paper in.

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The Heartland lay at the centre of the world island, stretching from the Volga to the Yangtze and from the Himalayas to the Arctic. There was a problem halfor your submission. A Geostrategic Framework for the Conduct of the U. Using Mackinder’s own qualifications, it appears that he has placed the key geographical position in the wrong part of the world.

Indeed, many policymakers came from the world of academia, where they were certainly exposed to Mackinder’s geopolitical theories. Today, almost a century after his “Heartland” theory came into being, there is renewed interest in the region that Mackinder considered the key to world dominance.

At Oxford, Mackinder was the driving force behind the creation of a School of Geography in As Richard Neustadt and Ernest May have persuasively argued, historical and often wildly inappropriate analogies, banal slogans, and outdated theories often become the driving forces in policymaking.

While this may have had some relevance when there was the potential for the rest of the world to be dominated by the communists, as long as the great powers of the World Island continue to be wedded to the free market and do not perceive US power to be threateningthen there is little danger of their voluntarily shutting their doors to the American market and investment structure. One of the reasons that Mackinder is being resurrected yet again is because policymakers are searching for ways to conceptualize and deal with the heart of his Heartland–Central Asia and the Caspian Sea–which is a region that has the potential to become a major source of great-power contention in the next century.


The mobility that air power brings changes all the calculations of Mackinder. While Mackinder’s warnings of the advantages inherent in central positioning on the Eurasian landmass certainly became incorporated into Cold War American strategic thought and policy, some observers seem to believe that the principle architects of US foreign policy throughout the Cold War era must have been carrying Mackinder in their briefcases.

Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page.

One of Haushofer’s pupils was Rudolph Hess, who brought his teacher haoford the inner intellectual circles of the Reich. Heterogeneity alone seems to predestine the Eastern Hemisphere to infighting, and to disadvantages when compared to the Western.

Germany has always been at a disadvantage because of her position in the heart of Europe.

Russia has been devastated time and again throughout history. Yet as disconcerting as it may seem, the rules evolve as quickly as “the game” itself, and policymakers must have the vision to anticipate that evolution and adjust accordingly.

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Halford Mackinder

The latter opinion was strengthened, of course, by Germany’s eventual defeat. Weigert, Generals and Geopolitics Oxford, Eng.: In order to dominate the World Island, a Heartland power would have to exploit its vast resources. This eventuality would of course be quite problematic for an America that still views Eurasia as the chessboard upon which the game of global control will be played. The Clinton Administration has been criticized from the beginning for running a foreign policy that is at best reactive and at worst rudderless and confused.


Inhe published Britain and the British Seaswhich included the first comprehensive geomorphology of the British Isles and which became a classic in regional geography. Haushofer’s ideas probably had a larger influence upon American strategic studies during the war than they did on German policy. geololitics

The Geographical Pivot of History

Mackinder held that effective political domination of the Heartland by a single power had been unattainable in the past because:. But is there really any threat of a state marshaling forces against the British Isles? His extended views were set out in a short book, Democratic Ideals and Reality, published early in while the Paris Peace Conference was in session. This belief traces its roots directly back to Sir Halford Mackinder and his theories of the Heartland.

Internet URLs are the best. As Mackinder himself put it, “a platform has been given to a geographer”. Rather than providing a springboard to attack in any direction, central positioning has rendered the Heartland power vulnerable on all sides.

Halford Mackinder – Wikipedia

Mackinder’s theories have been attacked from many directions over the years, but their remnants persist in our intellectual memory. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. There was an unexpected sequel, however, for the concept heopolitics the mackinser was seized upon by the German geopolitician Karl Haushofer to support his grand design for control of the World Island.

Spykman, considered one of the leading intellectual forefathers of containment, speculated about power projection into and out of the Heartland.