Geopolitics and Strategy

After decades of progressing globalization, the world has witnessed a return of ‘geopolitics’, which marks the end of the post-Cold War era. Strictly speaking, geopolitics refers to a distinct field of study with a long intellectual tradition, which examines the interplay between geography and political power. However, the term is now commonly used in a looser sense to characterize the re-emergence of nationalism, border disputes, economic protectionism, and great power rivalry. In today’s highly interconnected world, geopolitical struggles are not limited to territorial conflict but also cover attempts to ‘weaponize’ interdependence, including flows of migration, finance, and infrastructure investment, as well as ‘soft’ policies including cultural diplomacy, human rights and gender equality. The great powers and other states each pursue a grand strategy that integrates all dimensions of power (political, economic, military) to pursue their interests in this ‘geopolitical’ era. 

GIES examines these developments and challenges with a specific focus on the following topics. First, our research deals with competition and cooperation between today’s great and rising powers, and explores possible strategies for a peaceful and stable world order. Second, we seek to understand how the complex interplay between geopolitical challenges and domestic political developments shapes the foreign and security policies of small and large states. Third, we aim to shed light on the place of Europe and the European Union in this challenging geopolitical environment. Fourth, our research focuses on the geopolitical dimensions of the global energy transformation. From a critical perspective, we also aim at to problematizing geopolitics as a discursive practice, while by focusing on how, by who and for which purpose geopolitical identities and visions are constructed in the first place. 

GIES researchers affiliated with this research area:


Post-doctoral researchers: