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The Return of Geopolitics in the Era of Soft Power: Rereading Rudolf Kjellén on Geopolitical Imaginary and Competitive Identity
Södertörn University, Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES).
2015 (English)In: Geopolitics, ISSN 1465-0045, Vol. 20, no 2, 248-266 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper looks at how Swedish political scientist Rudolf Kjellén (1864–1922) conceived of the relationship between nature and culture, between material and immaterial power as well as the role of soft power, geopolitical imaginary and competitive identity in off-setting potentially unfavourable geopolitical conditions for small and medium-sized states. It is argued that with regard to small states, Kjellén did not maintain a consistent separation between “soft” cultural resources of power and “hard” laws of nature. Rather, he placed the mutually constitutive tension between geography (nature) and politics (culture) at the centre of his politico-scientific analysis, arguing that active “biopolitics” could supplement geopolitics. In Kjellén’s conception, cultural and natural resources are instruments of an otherwise integrated notion of power which challenges the contemporary separation between hard and soft power.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2015. Vol. 20, no 2, 248-266 p.
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Baltic and East European studies; Historical Studies; Politics, Economy and the Organization of Society
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-25150DOI: 10.1080/14650045.2014.928697ISI: 000353404700002ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84928774235OAI: diva2:758636
Available from: 2014-10-27 Created: 2014-10-27 Last updated: 2015-05-18Bibliographically approved

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