Ideological and economic forces unleashed by the end of the Cold War have swept through the international system and tested global stability with myriad constructive and destructive influences. Resulting changes in the context of human and physical settings, and the relationship of geography to foreign policy and international relations, have created a new global geopolitical map with borders no longer tied to neat physical or political lines. This text sets out to define these borders while addressing a key question influencing global stability -will certain areas become Gateways or Shatterbelts? By giving world-wide attention to the entire hierarchy of geopolitical units - subnational, national states and quasi-states, as well as geopolitical regions and geostrategic realms - Saul Bernard Cohen offers a survey of geopolitics and its practitioners and an explanation of geopolitical terms, structure and theory.
Combined with its focus on geopolitical restructuring of the world's different regions, its major powers, and the global networks that link them, this text seeks to create a map of global dynamic equilibrium and explain why some regions have become more strategically important, others have become geostrategically marginal, and the Middle East remains a Shatterbelt.
Saul Bernard Cohen is a political geographer and Professor Emeritus of Geography at Hunter College.