Geohistorical Approach to the Evolution of International Relations


The article proposes a new, geohistorical research paradigm to the evolution of international relations which focuses on the methods of territorial control: the emergence and improvement of its ways and means, or in other words, in the context of capture division and development of land. In the framework of geohistory the development of human civilization is presented as the story of a particular spatial orders, nomoses, which change through geopolitical revolutions. The geohistorical approach is based on the recognition of the primacy of space for the destiny of the state as a territorial political society that is different from the blood communities that preceded it, and therefore for the academic study of international relations as primarily interstate relations. This is the basis for a specific ‘geomethodology’, the underlying thesis of which is that space predetermines the main manifestations of human activity, and the changes and development of the nature of this activity are due to the improvement of ways of mastering and controlling space. In the development of the provisions of such classical authors as Halford Mackinder and Karl Schmitt, the article shows that within the framework of geo­history, different dominant methods of controlling space replace each other. The most important points of bifurcation of the world civilizational process are the geopolitical revolutions caused by the contradictions between the ways of seizing and dividing the land and manifested in the transition from one spatial political order to another. The basic geohistorical stages of the regularity of the history of international relations are described, on the basis of which it is concluded that at present the world is on the verge of fundamental transformations of the world order that are connected with the discovery and development of the Cosmos and, most likely, will be comparable with the revolutionary transformations of the 16th­17th centuries, caused by the reclamation of the World Ocean.


Geohistory; geomethodology; space; nomos; space control; geohistorical epoch; geopolitical revolution.

Authors: Yevgeniy Sulima Maximilian Shepelev

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