Discuss the socio-historical construction of the modern geopolitical imagination as defined by Agnew



Hi! This is a geopolitics class. We are going to write an essay for the exam. I need help for preparing for the essay prompts. Below is the study guide. Please give me some writing suggestions in detail. Thanks a lot!

Analytical Essays

The Modern Geopolitical Imagination.  Be able to discuss the socio-historical construction of the modern geopolitical imagination as defined by Agnew and as elaborated on throughout the first half of the semester in class.  Be sure to include in your answer an exploration of the four main elements that comprise the modern geopolitical imagination, providing examples to illustrate how each works to inform our vision(s) of the geopolitical world and our place in it. 

a.  Note:  This essay may appear in the form of a geopolitical speech or statement that you will be asked to ‘decode’.

Visualizing Global Space: Mackinder’s “Geographic Pivot of History.”  Provide a critical geopolitical analysis of Mackinder’s “geographic pivot of history” as an example of the geopolitical element of visualizing global space. Be sure you can describe Mackinder’s geopolitical world as a structured whole – the 3 regions of his map and his arguments for this geopolitical representation of threat. In your answer, be sure you are able to discuss the context (re Britain as hegemonic empire) in which Mackinder’s paper was written, the physical geographic rationale behind the ‘heartland theory’, the historical significance of the region in Mackinder’s geopolitical imagining, and the turn-of-the-century geopolitical context in which Mackinder delivered his address.  Briefly discuss the continuing relevance of Mackinder’s geopolitical vision for US Cold War geopolitics, and why it remained relevant.

A World of Territorial Nations and States.  Be sure you are able to discuss this element in geopolitical coding, the ways of seeing world geopolitics that lies behind it, and the banal nationalism through which this way of seeing is maintained.  Also, discuss the consequences of this way of seeing that Agnew has labeled the “territorial trap,” providing examples from readings and class discussions. Be able to use the construction of American identity through Captain America Pre-WW II Comics (process of identification and differentiation by creating/disciplining/contrasting with the Other) to illustrate.

Popular Geopolitics and Time into Space during the Cold War: Star Trek representations of the First, Second and Third Worlds.  Be able to discuss the concept of mapping time onto space through the use of the Star Trek episode we watched and analyzed in class, particularly in terms of its representation of the First, Second and Third Worlds, and its conversion of time into space in legitimizing geopolitical behavior on the ‘Third World’ planet (and US geopolitical behavior in Vietnam).

Time into Space: From Imperialism and Social Darwinism to Developmentalism.  Be able to discuss this element of geopolitical coding, using the example of imperialism/social Darwinism and how this way of mapping time onto space morphed into developmentalism with the onset of the Cold War.  Be able to critically analyze the basic tenets of developmentalism as a “non-communist manifesto” in world politics.

Pursuit of Primacy:  Hegemonic Cycles.  Be able to discuss this element of geopolitical coding, the two models of hegemonic cycles discussed in class (Modelski and World Economy Models), and be able to trace the period of US hegemony in the 20th century.  Be able to bring President Bush Sr’s State of the Union address (New World Order) into the discussion of how primacy/hegemony are asserted in practical geopolitics.

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