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12:01AM

A German take on "The Pentagon's New Map" as "critical geopolitics" 

Passed along by a German correspondent.  It's a think tank-style critical review of the New Map as an example of spatially expressing a threat (Hamburg U, Institute for Geography, 2005).

A bit much into the symbology for my taste (e.g., the deconstruction of the New Rule Sets Project logo and investing a lot of meaning into Esquire artwork), but a very serious effort at understanding and critiquing what I sought to accomplish by centering my analysis around a world map.

It's found here on the web: http://www.geowiss.uni-hamburg.de/i-geogr/abschluss/arbeiten/diplomarbeit_eggerstedt.pdf.

I also make it downloadable here for posterity's sake.

My German's only so-so at this point, but I caught the gist of the criticism.  At a couple of points it felt a little bit like Susan Faludi doing a number on my psyche, but fair is fair, and again, this is a serious attempt at interpretation.

In general, the New Map is interpreted in Europe as an example of "Neoliberal geopolitics."  For an example, see this Austrian piece.

Reader Comments (2)

I´ve read the German analysis of the student of the Hamburg Universityand found he made some important points.First: It´s the Pentagon´s New Map--means a rather Americancentric view of things.Second, the term "unconnectedness"is very vague.As a category it uses many aspects of a country from being landlocked, being oil-rich to resource-poor.The author thinks that unconnectedness can mean next to everything and is no real category for an analysis.Third, the author is asking whether the "Gap" is not a product of globalization itself.Many countires and goverment of the Gap tried to connect with the global economy, but found no investors.It is --in many cases--not by bad will that this countries belong to the gap.And: Tom Barnett sees gloablization as a wonderweapon ignoring that it makes some of the poor poorer, is widening the income gaps and is producing a lot of injustice and loosers.Therefore the question is if not just the gap states need as New Rule Set, but Wallstreet and the financilal markets too--especially after the most serious financial crisis after 1929 as a product of globalization.However,Thomas Barnett is right if he says that the author is investing a lot of energy to deconstruct the Esquire art work by its symbolism.But it´s a piece worth reading.

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRalf Ostner

What is critical geopolitics?In reality it is some sort of postmodern watchdog who wants to prevent that geopolitical concept are taken by face value and be used to implement imperialist policy.CG --like all postmodernists--says that all geopolitcal concepts are narratives which can be deconstructed .CG wants to make clear that behind each concept there are interest groups and ideologies.Especially in Germany geopolitcs was a no-go till 2000 due to the Nazi´s and Karl Haushofers geopolitical concept of "Lebensraum im Osten".Geopolitics wasn´t discussed till the last decade.However in the 90s Huntington, Brzezinski and Barnett changed this and there were intensive debates about it.Critical geopolitics however has not yet drafted own geopolitical concepts, but only critizised geopolitical concepts.Therefore its function is more a critique, than a productive geopolitical engineer.

PS.: The "Austrian piece" is taken from the German peacemovement based at University Kassel.

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRalf Ostner

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