Reflection on criticisms of Critical Geopolitics

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Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM)

The book Critical Geopolitics: The Politics of Writing Global Space was first published twenty-five years ago. In this article, I briefly discuss the geopolitical and intellectual sources of inspiration for the development Critical Geopolitics as a distinctive approach within Anglo-American political geography. In doing so, I distinguish it from other concurrent critical approached to International Relations and the world-system within English-speaking Geography at this time. Thereafter I consider four lines of critique of Critical Geopolitics. The first is the argument that the approach is too political. A subsidiary argument considers its relationship to violence. The second is the argument that it is neglects embodiment and everyday life and that, consequently, a Feminist Geopolitics is needed as a necessary corrective. The third is that claim that the approach is too textual and operates with a flawed conception of discourse, one that neglects practice. The fourth critique is that Critical Geopolitics has an undeveloped conception of materiality and neglects more-than-human agency. In discuss these criticisms, I make an argument for a continuity of concern with latent catastrophism in Critical Geopolitics from the danger of nuclear war in the mid-nineteen eighties to the climate emergency of today.