Geopolitics & Supranationalism What is Geopolitics? Organic Theory Lebensraum Heartland Theory Rimland Theory Supranationalism & EU How do Geopolitics Help us Understand the World? “Geopolitics is the interplay among geography, power, politics, and international relations. Geopolitics brings locational considerations, environmental contexts, territorial perspectives, and spatial assumptions to the fore.” -- de Blij 262 Geopoltics fit into two categories: German School: explanation why certain states are powerful and how to be become powerful British/American School: offers strategic advice for states and explains why countries interact at the global scale the way they do Critical Geopolitics Ideas of intellectuals of statecraft about places Influence and reinforce their political behaviors and policy choices Less about prediction Affect how ordinary people process notions of places and politics For example: Cold War was ‘us’ v. ‘them’ ‘us’ equals pro-democracy, independent, selfsufficient and free ‘them’ equals in some way all things opposite Ratzel’s Organic State Theory Organic Theory: Friedrich Ratzel Based on Darwin’s theories of evolution Need of a state for territory and overseas connections in order to survive Described expansion of empires and large states in the 19th century Eventually contributed to Nazi expansion Mackinder’s Heartland Theory Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland Who rules the Heartland commands the World Island Who rules the World Island commands the world What Are Supranational Organizations? Supranational organization: A separate entity composed of three or more states that forge an association and form an administrative structure for mutual benefit in pursuit of shared goals Examples: European Union United Nations WTO (World Trade Organization) OPEC (Oil and Petroleum Exporting Countries) A European Timeline Shortly after WWII: Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands, Lux) 1947: OEEC (Organization for European Economic Cooperation) 1951: ECSC (European Coal and Steel Community) Belgium, W. Germany, France, Italy Luxembourg & Netherlands 1957: EEC (European Economic Community) Treaty of Rome- consisted of Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, France, Italy 1973: EC (European Community) Ireland, UK and Denmark Custom duties were abolished between all states in 1977 1981: Greece became a member 1986: Spain and Portugal became member of EC 1992: EU (European Union) Treaty of Maastricht 1995: Austria, Finland and Sweden joined EU 1999: Euro introduced in circulation 2004: EU expanded to include Cyprus, Malta, Czech Rep., Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia 2007: two new members, Romania and Bulgaria join Union What is Unique about EU? It is not a state, nor a simple organization of states (unique in this regard) EU has multifaceted gov’t structure; three capitals (Brussels, Strasbourg, Frankfurt & the Hague) and billions in monetary flow EU extends into foreign relations, domestic issues, military policies States have sovereignty within the EU, but must abide by EU guidelines in order to remain a participant in the EU EU membership is optional, but has proven to be highly sought after There is no Constitution, but a Treaty (Treaty of Lisbon 2007) that binds member states to set standard of laws by 2009 Parliament would be given more leeway in proposing and changing laws A Day in the Life of a Parliamentary Member € 2011 € 2012 € 2009 Lisbon Treaty The EU Parliament Member Nations of the European Union Greenland (Denmark) Jan Mayen (Norway) Europe Iceland Atlantic Ocean 1957 Sweden Norwegian Sea blue Finland Faroe Islands (Denmark) 1973 Russia Norway green 1981 Estonia red Latvia Lithuania 1986 Denmark yellow Russia 1995 Belarus Ireland orange U.K. Neth. 2004 Germany purple Belgium Lux. 2007 Liech. lavender France Switz. Ukraine Czech Rep. Slovakia Austria Hungary Slovenia Croatia Bos.& San Marino Herz. Monaco Portugal Poland Moldova Romania Serbia Bulgaria Mont. Mace. Alb. Italy Spain Greece Turkey Mediterranean Sea Cyprus Morocco Algeria Tunisia Malta Reaction Prompt: Based on your understanding of ‘how the EU works’ from what is being discussed and read, determine the level of sovereignty each member state has. Is the European Union good for Europe? Provide in-depth reasoning.