Critique of Anti-Geopolitics

The notion of anti-geopolitics is a very recent one, barely 10 years old. Some of its associated ideas have attracted analytical attention, such as the anti-geopolitical eye in feminist geopolitics. The term anti-geopolitics in itself, however, has not found widespread application to date. Its use has mainly been restricted to a handful of writers from the Anglo-American critical geopolitics perspective. It has occasionally been referenced in articles, mostly, however, without a deeper analytical engagement. In a few cases, it has also led to very disparaging and confused interpretations.

This reception may partly be explained by the fact that the prefix anti-suggests a dichotomy to geopolitics that appears to be rather unhelpful. The protest movements and differential perspectives gathered under the term anti-geopolitics do not oppose geopolitics per se, but rather dominant geopolitical practices, discourses, and representations. In fact, they themselves are geopolitical. Other terms that have described this oppositional attitude include counter hegemonic geopolitics, geopolitics from below, countergeopolitics, alternative geopolitics, anti-imperialist geopolitics, geopolitics of and for social movements, other geopolitics, and so on. Whereas the adjectival notation of anti-geopolitical can be useful – for example in the notion of the anti-geopolitical eye – the noun anti-geopolitics is ambiguous and can be misleading. As a historically contingent concept of geopolitical thought and practice, it requires further critical development and elaboration.