Klaus Dodds: "Geopolitics: A Very Short Introduction" | Talks at Google
Well, again, thank you for the very kind of invitation. And thank you for turning up during a lunch, hour. My, task is to talk, to you about a, field. And, a, term. That. Has. Enormous. And in enduring. Popularity and. Seems. As. Particularly, as I worked through the third edition which is coming out next month, to. Be ever more topical, as, I had to take home whether I liked it or not. Trump's. Make America, great again. Brexit. The rise of China and. Countless. Other things that I think keep. My, area, of interest, exciting. Anyway, what I've decided, to do is to try and give you Whistlestop, tour geopolitics. Through ten images and then. To offer a very quick, little case study, involving. The Arctic, which I think again it's not unreasonable. To claim that, this. Is an area, of the world that is really, becoming extraordinarily. Important. Not, least because it's very hard I think to have a conversation about, climate, change without. Thinking, of the Arctic, and in particular thinking, about the fate of ice. And snow, and the obviously, essential, role that it plays in helping to regulate the, Earth's climate. However. I thought, I'd start on a map. That maybe, not. Very familiar to many people unless. You have an abiding interest in geopolitics, this. Map was produced in, January. 1904. By one, of the most famous British, geographers, called. Halford, mackinder was. Actually a member. Of parliament for a short time director. Of the London School of Economics and, a. Reader, in geography at Oxford University and this. Map. He. Presented. To the Royal Geographical, Society, over a hundred odd years ago, purporting. To give, what he thought of as the major. Cleavages. And. Drivers, that shape global. Geopolitics. In. A lecture entitled the Jews geographical, pivot of history he argued that actually, the, pivot, area, this huge. Area, of the Eurasian, landmass was. A key, determinant, of, world. Politics, and he predicted that regardless. Of future. Technological, change. And remember. He's talking in 1904. When, we're getting to grips with the railways, the. Telegraph. And. Increasingly, of course, as. The 20th century would prove flight, of all, kinds of things and missiles and planes notwithstanding that. Nonetheless, he, said this is the area, of the world you need to keep a lookout for. About. Five years earlier the. Term geopolitics. Had. Entered into European, political discourse, and the. Timing, of all of this for, if you will from the 1890s to, the start of the 20th century, I don't, think is coincidental. In the sense of that, makanda. Was not alone in trying, to make sense of a world that was undergoing. Fundamental. State change. Although. He didn't predict the onset of the first world war in 1914. He was nonetheless prescient. I think to. Spot, that, there was tension, in the air as imperial. Powers, were, beginning, to rub, up against one another he. Didn't use the term globalization. But. He does talk, about a. More, intensely. Felt, world, and, actually, if you read a lot of his work I think you can see it as absolutely. Anticipating. That term. Globalization. That, really becomes popularized.
In The 1980s, and 1990s now, this, map, has. Had an enduring, popularity, and. One of the interesting things particularly, after the fall of the, collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. Was, makanda. Was discovered. Again and, intriguingly. Makenna. Has been translated. Not, only into Russian and Chinese, but. Increasingly, in, Central, Asian, languages, as well because. One of the things that later, writers. And commentators, seized upon was. The idea. That they found, themselves as. Post-soviet. States, in McInnis. Pivot area and the. Idea, of course which, also excited, a lot of these intellectuals. And places like Kazakhstan. Uzbekistan, was. That actually they were going, to become even more important. In the future so. One of the interesting things about geopolitics. Is that, it looks backwards. To. Try and find patterns that, it can then use to go forwards, to, try and anticipate, future. Global. Politics. It's a very ambitious, area. Of study, it loves, maps it, really. Enjoys thinking, globally, and it's, often, not shy in making. Bold predictions. However. Sometimes. That. Enthusiasm. For. Being bold for. Using maps for. Making grand pronouncements. Can. Lead, you into, areas. That you may not wish to enter into so. Image, 2 on. The. One hand you, have, Karl. Haas, Alva that's. The person. To, the left on the. Right you. Have Rudolf Hess. One. Of the problems geopolitics. Had as an area, of intellectual, concern. Was. That in the 1940s. American. Magazines, American. Writers, and intellectuals. Pointed. At geopolitics. And said. That, they had been an essential, accomplished. To. Nazism. To National Socialism that. Hitler's ideas, for example of labels, around living, space, was. Directly. Inspired. By. Earlier. Geopolitical. Writing, at about the same time that makanda was talking about the geographical, pivot of history because. In Germany and elsewhere, other. Geographers. Such. As rats, Elfriede, gratzel, we're, writing, about the state as a living, organism, and, whenever. You talk about the state as a body or a living, organism. You. Should I think be, concerned. Because. Then it becomes very easy if, you're not careful to. Think of other places, other, people's. As undesirable. As. Potentially. Fatal to. The health of the state. So. By their nineteen forties. Geopolitics. Stood accused, as being, not only intellectually. Poisonous, but. A handmaiden, for. National, Socialism and in. That period, from the 1940s. 50s 60s, and, 70s, very. Very few, people in the english-speaking world. Wanted. To be associated geopolitics. It, was seen as as I say poisonous, and something. To be avoided no. Self-respecting. Academic, or intellectual, would touch the term, that. Was to change however. When. Henry Kissinger, became. Increasingly, prominent, as a, National Security Advisor and later US, Secretary, of State Kissinger, it's worth remembering has, a PhD. In. Nineteenth-century. European. Imperial. Rivalries. And, was. At the thick of it, during. The Cold War in the late 60s and particularly of course markedly, in the 1970s. When. He, was busy, advising. Richard Nixon, about how the United States might, balance, their. Rivalry. With the Soviet Union with, potential, rapprochement with, China, so, if you remember the period for.
Those Of you who weren't alive at the time I was, only relatively. Young in case you want to age me. You. May remember notable, things such as ping-pong diplomacy as, it was called at the time was, really about the United States trying. To reach out to China and really one, of the arguments made was that Kissinger, vision. For Nixon was, a geopolitical one, that actually he was aware of makanda, that he was complement. Of the pivot area, and that he knew that the United States had. To manage this, relationship. Between the Soviet Union and China which, of course was unfolding, on the euro-asian, landmass, he confidently. Used. The term geopolitics. And. That was quite a departure when. So much of Internet your life in a Britain America and elsewhere didn't. Want to use the term shunned, it kissinger, brings it back. Well. They're good reasons of course why, geopolitics. When it did find favor. Proved. To be very attractive. And enduring, remember, the deterrent, of the, 1970s. Gave, way to what was called at the time the. Second, Cold War the return, of the intensification. Of, Cold. War rivalries. When, for example the United States and the, Soviet Union in different ways worried. About the precariousness. Of near. Neighbors and the, vulnerability. Of entire, regions, you, may recall terms like the domino, theory the, idea that the United States had. To intervene. In Vietnam because. Failure to do so might result in other countries, like Laos, Cambodia. Thailand. Malaysia, being, vulnerable to Soviet. Or Chinese backed. Aggression. Or insurrection. So. There's the sense in which geopolitics. Provides, a very, vivid, powerful. Language, as well as a kind of visual medium. Through, maps of trying. To make sense of big change in. The world and so, you see a lot of these kinds. Of depictions, during, the Cold War that, actually, the United States and others have, to act as an imperative act because. The future otherwise, is very, very dire. Geopolitics. Of course can be turned upside down, it's. A very very dynamic subject. Before you know it we're having to redraw, and reimagine, our geopolitical, world's. Borders. Barriers. Can come down as they did in the late 1980s. And early 1990s. They. Can also go up again as we're, discovering in the current era when walls fences. And barriers are being restored, or even expanded. Around the world but, in November 1989. Of course, citizens, on both sides of the city of Berlin took, to. The wall using, whatever, they could find and started. To dismantle, it and, we often think about that as, assuring. In the. Ending. Of the, Cold War maps. Get. Redrawn, the Soviet Union disappears, two years later so geopolitics, is very. Fluid and dynamic but. Also, geopolitics. Of course can take on very, very particular, hues. And dimensions. Geopolitics. Is informed. Not only by popular, culture but, it's also informed, by economics. So, we often for, example talk about geo economics, and in the 1990s such. Was the wave of post. Cold War euphoria.
That Some, were even as bold to suggest that we didn't need geopolitics, anymore it was all geo-economics. We, were going to manage neoliberal. Globalization. Everyone. Was going to become a market, democracy, Francis. Fukuyama, predicted. The end of history Richard, O'Brien predicted. The end of geography, I should, have been out of a job and indeed. I thought I would be when. I started, my academic career, in 1994. People, said to me there's no need for geopolitics. Deeply. Unfashionable I thought. Let's. Wait and see, I think, geopolitics, has never gone away and indeed, won the argument want to make to you is that, every, time people meet in Davos, it is an exercise in geopolitics, as, an exercise, and imagining, the world in very particular ways and thinking. About it, best. How to manage. It whether. It's through, market. Intervention, or certain. State, behavior but. It also I think at moments like this and hence the image, geopolitics. Is highly choreographed. It's. Not just a way of thinking, and speaking about the world it's also a way of performing in, the world so this kind of performance, usually. A whole group of white, people from, euro-american, states is notable. As a particular, kind, of performance, of geopolitics more, on that in a minute I. Also. Work on James Bond because. I think geopolitics. Is utterly. Rooted, in popular. Culture that actually, our ideas. Of geopolitics, are often, formed, as an early, formative. Moment, in our lives through. Popular, culture also, through play though. You of a certain age like me, no doubt remember your. Action man your. Action, men I had two of them I was very blessed and and. The pleasure one took in imagining, all kinds of Cold War era scenarios. I also. Consumed, enthusiastically. James Bond movies, but, it's not hard of course to see James Bond movies for what they are a very, very particular, Imperial. Male fantasy. Figure going, to do what to resume might describe as global Britain orbit. In a highly profitable way. Geopolitics. Can also of course be caught, up in all kinds, of other agenda. Some of them explicitly, environmental. Think. About these kinds, of images I deliberately, juxtaposed. Them for you Emma, Thompson, and the gang, standing. In spiral barred lamenting. The absence, of ice whilst, on the other hand we have the precarious, looking polar bear on a particular. Ice. One. At least is looking rather sad the other. Mournful. But. Geopolitics. Is I think. Made. Possible, through, in, the environmental. Through. The ecological. Because in this sense we're. Both in both of those images are inviting, us to act to. Actually do something to, change, the geopolitical, situation. Or, the system, of power that we face ourselves one. Of the things I also caution, you about there kind of the imagery, used, here as well is the. Often, complete, absence, of, indigenous. Peoples, who live in the Arctic so. Often it's charismatic. Species like, polar bears whales. That. Prefigure. In some of this ordering, of geopolitics. I'm. In Google it, would seem remiss, of me not to, think a little bit about Big, Data social. Media and. Analytics. That go with it surely, geopolitics. Makes itself felt through. Social, media whether. It's a commander, in chief who seems, incapable, resisting. The urge to tweet, in, the early hours of the morning or whether. It's the decisions, that we are are not able to make when, it comes to accessing, the, Internet. Is surely, geopolitical. Last, week I was in China I don't need to rehearse I hope, that. It's rather difficult, to access Google. Twitter, Bing. All. Certain, kinds of social media can access you then have to rely on your virtual Virtual, Private Network, to do other things and there's a thriving industry in China helping. You to do that I. Also. Want, to reinforce, that geopolitics. Is part, of the everyday and deeply, deeply, personal. And felt so. Whether we're female. Male, black. White, gay. Straight. Geopolitics. Sticks. To us if you will in very, very different, kinds of ways so, I've deliberately, used here an image of black lives matters, from the United States because. To, raise the troubling, issue about. How for example the war on terror is conducted, in some parts of the world whilst, in other parts of the world citizens.
Such As the African American community are. Reminding. Other citizens. That, they have felt terrorized. For, centuries, not, just a month, or a decade, or two so. Geopolitics. Is what, the feminists, would remind us, intersectional. There, is absolutely. No, one, singular. Geopolitics. Very. Quickly to, finish off a quick case study. When, I'm not talking about geopolitics, more generally I tend, to focus on the colder, parts of the world particularly. The Arctic, and the Antarctic and. Some. Of the more recent work I've done has been looking, at Arctic, geopolitics. So what is specifically, geopolitical. About. The Arctic, and, so. I wrote a book with a co-author called, the scramble, for the poles and, then, our newest one is coming out this. Month called, the Arctic what everyone needs to know which, I'm slightly worried about because. There's. An awful lot to know and I'm not sure I've captured it all so, I'm expecting the. Criticisms, to come left right and center about, how much I've had to leave out, anyway. Why is the Arctic interesting, geopolitically, well one of the things that I think really helped transform, the, out because of geopolitical, space was. A very very particular act, in. August. 2007. For. Those of you can recall a Russian. Flag was very gently deposited, at the bottom of the central Arctic Ocean, and the. Flag was made of titanium. So it's rust proof and presumably. Whether, we like to not will injure in. The coming years, possibly. Centuries. But. The key thing to bear in mind is that the, flag was Russian. Had. The flag being the United Nations, had the flag being the United Kingdom on, the one hand we might have thought about the place differently, on their hand we would have laughed, but. It was a Russian flag and the. Person you see before you is our third shilling gone off a very distinguished, Russian oceanographer. Who, was responsible for, piloting. The submersible. That traveled many thousands, of feet under, the water and depositing. The said flag and he came, to, Moscow and elsewhere with the photograph, of the flag and said, the, Arctic, is ours. On. Hearing. That Canada. Denmark and, others responded. Badly. In. The sense of they found it rather troubling, assertion, that the.
Russian, Flag, had been planted, on a part of the world that they also thought might. Be potentially, theirs so. What followed of course was an inevitable, geopolitical. Tussle, between. Canada. Russia and Denmark, through of course for Kingdom of Denmark which is Greenland all. Vying. The. North pole or the central Arctic Ocean, and thinking, it is theirs, and you. Couldn't, get a more fundamental. Expression of geopolitics a kind, of struggle a rivalry. Over a territory, that is so remote. That. Is probably devoid, of natural, resources but nonetheless is hugely. Symbolically. Important, everybody. At least those three states wants to say the North Pole belongs to them. On. The, other hand of course on hearing, this news that the, Russian state, possibly, had. Ambitions. To claim ownership over a subterranean, territory. That very very few people visited, let alone see. Indigenous. Peoples, around the Arctic. Gathered. And produced, an Inuit. Declaration, on sovereignty. Reminding. Settler. Colonial, states Denmark. Canada. And Russia. That the. Arctic was not exclusively, theirs that actually indigenous, peoples had lived in the Arctic, for millennia, well. Before those three states were created, I would. Suggest you that what you have here is an. Indigenous geopolitics. A very. Very different way of thinking about the world and a, one that is actively, challenging. The. Hegemony of the nation-state, divide. The world up into, particular kinds, of ways. But. That won't stop those, nation-states. Aka, coastal, states new. Maps are being produced of the Arctic, as we speak on the, one hand on. The left hand side the rather garish set of colors what. You see there, just imagine, the colors don't worry about the detail is, coastal. States, Canada. Norway. The, United States Russia. Denmark. Thinking. That the Arctic Ocean belongs, to them and all those colors represent, their particular interests. In. Extending. Their, rights, over. The seabed and. On the other hand you. Have a more. Traditional oceanographic. Physical, geography, if you will of the, Arctic Ocean that. Is being mapped ever more intensely, both by militaries. Eager. Almost, as if there was a return to the Cold War to make sure they properly understand, this underwater space, but. Also scientists. Desperately. Trying to work out what, an earth is going on in the central Arctic Ocean because, the sea ice just keeps disappearing, and. We. Know, disappearing. Sea ice is bad, news. So. We're trying to find out more. And, such. As the state of change, in the Arctic and the warming, cannot be underestimated, quite. How dramatic, it is sea. Ice is disappearing and, if sea ice disappears. What, follows, or. What follows is more open, water and. What. Follows from open, water is that. More people more. States corporations. And others think. That you can do things there that previously, you might not have thought about because. The sea ice was, blocking your. Interests. So. For the first time. We. Are having to invent, a new term. To take. Into account the scale of change in the Arctic ten. Years ago we didn't talk about a central Arctic Ocean we now do so, and. We've just recently signed, an agreement. Where. We are trying to set up a framework for, regulating, potentially. Commercial. Fishing in the central Arctic Ocean that. Would have been absolutely, unthinkable. To. Halford, mackinder when, he was writing about the geographical, pivot of history and when, if you can recall back he may not have seen it he. Said in his map we described, in his map the, Arctic, is simply, an icy, sea. So. It is no exaggeration to, say that we. Really are having. To talk about a new, kind of North Pole and, I'll end on that note because. I hope that's just giving you a real. Sense that. Geopolitics. Is a. Portmanteau, word. Gob. Referring. To, the earth the, writing, of the earth and politics. Really. Concerning. Itself with the struggle, for power resources. Territory. And that's, why the two are brought. Together and, you, see in the Arctic geopolitics. Writ, large. Thanks. Very much. And. So. Excuse. Me the. Picture of the flag on the bottom of the ocean what's, the difference between that and say, Japan or the US or New Zealand going, and planting one in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and claiming that that to be theirs I mean they're, both oceans, what is.
There A difference in the Arctic, Ocean that makes it I don't, know somehow in, some way reasonable, to do that. Well. That's, a great question I mean I think the the first thing to say is that, whenever. A flag, is planted. Anywhere. On the Earth's surface. It's not unreasonable I think to tie it into a longer history of colonialism, and imperialism I mean, there is a very very rich, tradition and. I don't mean rich and that's really good I mean just rich and an awful lot of it or flags. Being planted in various kinds of places Edmund. Hillary does it on the top of Everest for example we know that I think, what's interesting about flag, planting, at the bottom of oceans and you're absolutely right this is not unique to Russia, the, Chinese did it for example in the South China Sea Spain. Did it for example in the territorial, waters of Gibraltar, you, flag plant because you usually want, to make some kind of statement and. It would not matter unless it was caught on film or image if, you can't see the flag planting, and it's pointless so, I think what's so important, is when chilling gareth is holding the photograph, is as, if to say we did it and we have the evidence now. I think in both cases what's important, is what. We're seeing is at the moment is what I would describe as ocean grabbing, that. Coastal, states are. Investing. Millions of dollars roubles, Crohn pounds, you name it to. Map the. Seabed and they're, doing so because international law gives them in a sense the the right to do so in. Order to generate what, are called more sovereign rights, over the seabed it's a very technical-scientific. Logistically. Expensive. Process but that's what they're doing so, when the Russians did that they were thrown down the gauntlet and, saying I think to. Canada. And Denmark, we. Think the North Pole if you will the central Arctic Ocean is ours, you know we dare you well. That's exactly what Canada and Denmark did, they, spent millions and millions of pounds of Dollars and Crone mapping. The seabed so when I showed you that map of that that, oceanographic. Physical. Geography map in, a cure sort of way all, this, flag planting. Empowered. By law is leading. To ever greater mapping, of the world's oceans that may actually be quite useful scientifically.
Environmentally. But, is also being powered, by geopolitics. You, know people, want territory. And they want resources. Speaking, of flags, that, have been planted I'm thinking about the one that was planted on the moon surface and, until. A couple of decades ago it seemed like. Geopolitics. Extended. Outside, of Earth going, into space and then it kind of died. As a as a narrow conflict, so it'd, be good to hear a couple of words about that and if you see that. Becoming a new area of conflict in the future yes that's, no it's a very important point I'm sorry I with my 10 images I kept us on earth, but. I could have easily, gone, into outer space, Mars. The moon and elsewhere I mean, I think the key thing to bear in mind is when the Americans planted a flag. On the moon in. July 1969. They. Weren't necessarily. Claiming, the moon for the United, States one, of the interesting things about flags as they work in intriguing ways so. You, know you remember Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were talking about taking steps of mankind, but nonetheless planted, the US flag and not a United Nations flag or or maybe they didn't have to plant a flag but they chose to plant a flag so, we kind of we can see the flag as a really ambiguous signifier. Now, in the aftermath, of that event we, then had international, legal, intervention. Through, things like the moon treaty, the Outer Space Treaty that, have tried, crate this. Idea, of these spaces, being a common heritage of mankind in, other words they should not be colonized, by. Nation-states. Complicating. All of that I think is the rise of high net individuals. Who, can easily imagine themselves, as future presidents, of Mars given, half the chance or, on, the other hand we've, seen the space race, massively. Expanded. And, notably. Of course countries, like India and China and the Europeans, have, become more prominent in the exploration of space, China. Has made it very very, clear it. Has ambitious.
Plans For space in. The next 10 to 15 years so. I think the idea of space being the final frontier if you will is, a is really worth listening, at, carefully, space. Has never stopped being a frontier but what I think it happens is that it tends to go through amplifications. So. Interest drops off I think you're going to see it go in an upward, trajectory from, hereafter, so, we can I think talk about an outerspace geopolitics. For sure and indeed, we should do I think what's happening at the moment is there's a there's a tendency now to go. Ever deeper, if you will to, the ocean sea beds to drill deeper, than ever before but, also to go out. Beyond. Earth and, I think this is coinciding with a particular, anthropogenic. Moment, when. We're actually once. Again, thinking. About we did the 1970s. The, limits to earth. Hi. Thanks, for coming and talking to us it's very interesting my, question is do you think there will be a struggle at some point for the resources, we have on the planet Earth for. Example I'm from Brazil and we have you know a bigger part of the Amazon and I. Feel like in the future, people be like from, all, over the world, you. Have lots of fresh water yeah. Massive, forests so, it, doesn't belong to this nation, iein, dice i think there there'll be like a new struggle basically, the, resources, they belong to everyone on the planet we, should share it do, you see that coming is like they struggle for a space you know outer space belongs to everybody we need to explore it they're, doing it now with the ocean are they going to do that with the other resources, as well so. I think that's a really excellent question, because I think it's so complicated, so for example in your own country, you know you, you, could quite, reasonably, I think point to a kind, of indigenous, geopolitics. And. You could say well. You know when the military came into power in the 1960s. For example, there. Was lots of interest, in. Militarizing. Of securitizing, that, brazilian amazon and.
There Was this idea that you know part of the reason why Brasilia, moves to where you know it's established, it's is this idea that Brazil has to move westwards, but, the Amazon is a front in it has to be filled because if it's not filled the, neighboring, states are going to take advantage possibly. Inspired by. Communist. Cuba, and the Soviet Union well. If we, talk about resource Wars indigenous, peoples have been bearing the brunt of resource wars for, centuries so. This is nothing new you, know there is a long and I'm afraid continuing, history of dispossession, on the, other hand though if you're asking a more general question which, is about humanity, and how, we manage the world's resources, I think, legal. Concepts, like the common heritage of mankind were, an attempt to to go some of that way and, we're, also seeing a growing appetite for things like marine protected areas. Fundamentally. Though what, we have is a paradox, is how do we manage life with. A 7.5. Billion, population. Is going to rise to 10 possibly, 12 in, a, world where also we're divided into 200 nation states that we know make no, ecological. Sense, you. Know and that's our challenge and then, if we want to try to inculcate, and, encourage a cosmopolitan. Geopolitics. Well we think of ourselves as a humanity, as we, do for examples we're encouraged to do through the Anthropocene, to think of human, beings as a geological. Force as the argument my, worry is that, in doing that you, quickly wash. Over literally, whitewash, you might say. Colonialism. Imperialism. Inequality. You, know and what, do we say to the citizens of Brazil, who. Go as they did in the 1990s, stop. Telling, us that, we. Have. To protect the Amazon for the sake of, humanity. And the earth psychologies. You, know it feels like a kind of neo colonialism that, just doesn't give up that, you're kind of bullying us into doing things because, Brazil if you will modern, Brazil has, been blessed with high levels of biodiversity, so. I think there's a normos, suspicion. Of, those. Kinds, of arguments and I think the Paris Court I mean there's no way around it you, know there's, a lot of discussion, that needs to happen which is fundamentally, rooted in inequality, I think. There's. No easy answer you. Know it's all very well for people like me to get oh we all need to be cosmopolitan. Yeah, well. That's fine but actually it doesn't really deal with the complex realities, of Earth. Hmmm. You've talked at, times about kind of international, efforts, to create kind of legal frameworks, around the moon I, think. There are international. Treaties. Around law of the sea that type of things as well, and. Obviously UN has at times tried, to make, diktats. About you know conflicts. As. A geopolitician. How successful, do you think kind of international, cooperation if, national laws have, been or will be a kind of preventing, nation-state and dress from overriding them so. I think thank you that's, a really good question as well because I think we, do have some stunning, examples, I think of where things go well so for, example, I think the Antarctic, Treaty of 1959, is a remarkable. Achievement in. Creating, the world's, first nuclear. Free zone in, demilitarizing. A continent, and trying. I think and. Succeeding. More or less in, making, peace and science, that sort of the primary, drivers of activity, where. Where it's had difficulty. I think is dealing, with commercial drivers, so, for example when fishing intervenes, or when, the specter, of mining, intervened, in the 1980s. Then, suddenly those principles, seemed a little bit more fragile the, law of the sea which, was negotiated in, the 70s and 80s, is. Also I think a remarkable attempt. To. Try and balance. Exploitation. Rights of. Coastal states with. The rights of non coastal, states and conservation. And I think what you see in international, law is. Both. Success, and failure but.
That Success and failure is in, a sense representative. Of wider humanity. That, we are struggling, to, balance these competing demands. You know we. Know for example we should be eating less meat and, adopting, a more vegetarian, diet but on the other hand we're, also dealing, with not. Only a, growing. Demand. And liking for meat but also powerful, industries, and corporations, that also help to generate things well law and geopolitics, are no different you've got these different stakeholders. And different pressures, so, I think if you to go back to marine protected. For a second there's, a classic, case of where, you're, trying to meet both the genders and in the Southern Ocean at the moment on, the one hand we want to create marine protected, areas, like the Ross Sea but. On the other hand we've only been able to get agreement on that because. We've also acknowledged, that these marine protected areas, are subject, to review, we've. Just had one in the central Arctic Ocean, a sort, of agreement a moratorium on, fishing, and here's, here's a really interesting thing some. Of the parties, to that agreement wanted. That moratorium. To last for only three, or four years. Some. Of the other parties, wanted the moratorium to last 30 to 40 years in the. End they compromised, and they, agree on 16, years. That. Has got no. Ecological. Basis, whatsoever, it is an utterly. Arbitrary. Figure that. Was absolutely. Plucked, out of thin air as a, gesture, of consensus. I'm. Not going to tell you which country wanted, four years. But. I don't think, you would have to think terribly, hard who. Might have just gone for four years and who. Might have gone for 30 or 40 years once. You know the ten signatories. And. Interestingly by the way just as a this is a brexit, point, one. Of the signatories is the European Union to that agreement so. If, we do leave the. European Union then. Actually it's an interesting point about whether Britain would, become a new signatory, to that agreement or whether anybody would have us as a new signatory, to that agreement all of that's a moot point but it's just a mate thing but again geopolitics, changes. Very. Conscious is the fifth man to ask a question.
And. Yet all my students, who study geopolitics. Are often. Women I thanks. So much for coming in um I was, just wondering if you thought enough was being done to protect, smaller. Or poorer countries, for maintaining their own kind. Of sovereignty, on their land when faced with the economic, power of other, big countries I ask that only as I spent the last year. In Laos and I was struck by how much of the infrastructure, was increasingly, owned. And run by Chinese I'm sure it through sort of proper legal, agreements, but they felt somewhat vulnerable. It's, it's a really important, point I mean I think one. Of the things that I think, brexit. Reminds, us is that. Sovereignty, is a very powerful myth, and, no. Country, in the world including the United States has ever enjoyed, complete. Sovereignty, and, what. You see around the world particularly, when smaller, states enter into relations, with countries like China through, the belt erode initiative for example and layoffs would be a really. Good example of this is that, layoffs. Enters, into these agreements knowing. Perfectly, well, that. That. There's a kind of what I would call sovereignty, bargaining, going on but. What my ass is off also, discovered, is that, and it's true I think a lot of trade agreements is that they produce both intended, and unintended, consequences. So, for example you know if you enter an agreement with, China for example over rubber production. It. Will then have knock-on consequences. For, how for example you organize, rural. Life or how agricultural. Systems, change and shift. Zimbabwe. Discovered, this when, it entered, into economic. Relationships, with China one of the interesting things that actually happened, and the Chinese were very worried about this was, it generated, actually. Expressions. Of anti Chinese racism, in, some of these countries because. Actually people at one stage were thinking actually this is really welcome investment, opportunity, and then, it shifts, to resentment. And anger so. I think one of the interesting things about geopolitics, as well is it's. Also about. Moods, and, those. Moods can be about anxiety that, can be about fear, that can be about hope dread. And. Anxiety. And fear I think is what you might have seen or felt, in layoffs, because. Actually, you realize that you. Are doing. A deal, with a, country that is incredibly. Upfront about. The, kind of relationships. It wishes to have and when, China talks about a belt and Road initiative and when China talks about Silk Roads. You. Know China, doesn't just have one, Silk Road in mind it. Doesn't just have two, Silk, Roads in mind it has, probably. About six or seven silk roads in mind and they, are going to stretch and extend all over, the euro-asian, landmass, they are going to extend across Africa, and Latin America. This, is a global project. So. I think what you heard and Laos you can hear in many other parts of the world but remember this that the aus government, did agreements, with China you. Know it wasn't as if, China. Said right that's it we're not listening to you we're. Just making. These relationships, and, I think we have to be very careful about that is don't. Take, the agency. Away from small states entirely, you, know I think I would have far more sympathy, for low-lying, small states that face inundation. From, sea level change, or sea level rise you. Know that's something that's really very difficult to. Deal with and confront but. In other cases these, are these are bargains. These are pacts. Thank. You as a woman who studied, your politics and international relations, I felt compelled to also ask a question, I'm. Being. Aware there are so many conflicts, and so many military conflicts. Around, the world on and, of, course we discussed it I caught, him in between geopolitics. And your, kind. Of economy, do you foresee. Or what else should need. To be needed. To happen for, kind of any of the conflicts, whether in Africa or Middle East or anywhere else to. Be resolved, do you see any kind of positive. Well. I think I think you, know I think we should we should take we should take heart in the, sense that we, we have examples.
Of Where. Peacekeeping. And peace initiatives, can and do work. In. My, experience, traveling the world most of the most of the conversation. I end up having where. Peace, actually takes, a hold, and a grip is, often. Through everyday. Locally. Driven initiatives. That, work for example with cross border, communities, and where things like culture, trade you. Know begin, to replace. Militaries. Security. Barriers. And. Militarization. More, generally, what, I think is really tough at the moment is that there are many many parts, of the world the. Middle East will be a very, grand example all the worst kind, of ways of, we're. Actually parties. Have every, incentive not. To seek peace I. Don't need to rehearse all those parties, but there's, an awful, lot going on we're actually geopolitical. Rivalries, suit. Both. Regional, extra, regional, actors and that's incredibly, tough because. What we do know and for, example the Yemen really, illustrates, this incredibly. Well tens. Of thousands, of people have died two. To three million people I think have been internally, externally displaced. You, move on to other parts of the world like Syria for example these. These are incredibly. Incredibly, depressing. Stories. Where. Geopolitical. Schisms. Are, being amplified, and. Made worse. By all kinds, of decisions whether it's about supplying, military weapons, or whether, it's by using, inflammatory. Rhetoric you. Know and and having all kinds of ambitions, both. Regional, as I say and global, so. I think you're absolutely right one of the challenges. We face in the field of geopolitics, is, to retain a sense of hope in humanity that. Actually things like peace. Justice. Ethics don't, disappear, from our auditing, of geopolitics, because, it's incredibly easy just to focus on grievance. In a quality hardship. But, I know how we have to talk about those because then there's a danger, as I say we, forget ongoing. In justices, and inequalities, and violence, and, I think that's why I showed you the image of black lives matters, to, make the point that geopolitics, is not always about the. World outside the nation-state it, can also feel very very everyday. Embodied. As we would say and very. Much part of your day to day reality you. Know so so when the United States talks about a war on terror well you know you I can't stand why black folks go, we feel like we've been facing a war on terror, for. The last couple hundred years. You. Know I think we have to have those honest conversations. Thank. You. I'm. Just curious, I think. Obviously humans. Kind of have this. Currency. Bias, where we think of our. Time, as being different in some way so. I'm just curious if you think relatively. Speaking, to. History. Do is this a relatively. Unstable, time, geopolitically. And. If. So what. Do you see as the you, know most. Exacerbating. Destabilizing. Forces that are at work I, mean. I think I think on the one hand it would not be unreasonable to, say that we have never had it so good to. Channel my inner Harold. Macmillan, in. The sense of that. In a lot of the indicators. Like global, life expectancy. Health, humanity. Appears, to be in relatively. Good health, so, I think that that's the one, obvious caveat, I think, there's a tendency of every generation to think that they live in interesting times to. Channel somebody else, and. I, think we what, we kind of you. Know have here is very interesting debate going on there you can see it kind of terms, of public intellectuals, like Steven, Pinker making an argument about. That. Actually we're you know we're in relatively, good good, health in, terms of for example levels, of violence, my. Point is is that depending. On where you are those. Levels of violence of course are. Either ongoing, and endemic. Talk. To as I have done Aboriginal. Women in Canada, the, violence, is ongoing you know they. Don't see any generational.
Shift But. On the other hand you know factor, in other parts, of the world like Syria for example they've been absolutely. Catastrophic ly, hit by. Really. Awful. Civil war then. It feels like I'm quite certain that generationally. This is unprecedented, I, think. What we're really coming, up against however, is a growing, recognition, that. Not, only is this business, violence, enduring. In other words that they're really that the we can identify periods, when there has been for example fewer. Deaths due, to violence, yes we can do that but, nonetheless there, is a kind. Of ongoing nurse. If you will to violence but, I think what will also come up against, which, is I think the real kicker is is, a sense, of this anthropogenic. Moment, that. Actually, not. Only is it shocking, that, we, still, have levels, of human violence in some parts of the world that is truly eye watering, but, I think, we're coming to terms with an ecological, violence that. Actually, you, know over, a really, remarkably. Short period of time we, appear, to be, jeopardizing. The. Fate of the earth and I think it's that, I would say it's probably ultimately, the, most troubling, aspect of, all of this and the reason why it's troubling is because. Also, those, very communities, are often borne, the brunt of a very human, violence, unlikely. To be hit a second, time with. Climate. Change related violence, and, that violence can be for example being, a climate change refugee, which we're going to see more of not less I suspect but. It also might mean when you're when you're asked, to be resilient, for example, you. Have to ask yourself what kind of resources, does a community or an individual have to be resilient and that's very unevenly, distributed so. I think one of the jobs of geopolitics, is to, constantly, remind, people that there. Is no collective, vulnerability. Here it's, very very, unequally. Shared and, I think depending on who you are where you are your, views, about these, broader, trends, I suspect will be very different I think it's really that's my point I think at. Its most simplest. Just, my question is in an increasingly, connected and complicated. World, do you see States, as as surviving, as the the main actors within geopolitics, or do you see some kind of viable. Alternative, for example sort of non-state, actors or some kind of humanism. In. The next sort of 50 years or so really. Good question i i, i, think on, the one hand I think the, connectedness. And the network's nurse, if I can put it into a rather clumsy, term that that. Most of us experience, and, no doubt enjoy is. Enabling. Us a course to hollow out the state anyway I think, we're all doing a terrific job at. Hollowing. Out the stage destroying, the stage I think. We're we're doing that for example in our purchasing. Patterns. We're terrifically, good at. Seeking, all kinds of things from around the world at the cheapest price or the most accessible, manner, we're.
Terrifically, Good at generating trance. National, cosmopolitan. Relationships. I don't, have a Facebook account but presumably some of you do no. Doubt you're very very good at generating, intercontinental. Relationships. You, might be sending your money to. Families, all around the world you, know you're, finding, ways to. Work. Within, and beyond the nation-state. So. I think the nation-state is. Responding. To that, and. Indeed you can see the European Union, as a very very particular, experiment. In, terms of trying to collectivise, the. State and clearly. In this country we're having an interesting conversation about, what we think about that collectivization. Do. I think the nation-state will last no I don't think it will last I think it would be utter. Conceit. Of the most extraordinary, manner, to, think that the nation-state will, survive indefinitely. I'm. Quite certain there were many people one stage you thought the British Empire would, last but that but that's that's, where actually the longer perspective does help us remind us that actually, things have often, a shelf life. Are we all quite as enthusiastic, about liberal, democracy, as we once were well. You, know one of the interesting things about the rise of Popular's and nativism, is, actually. You're getting these very very competing. Different, understandings. Of politics, in the state and. We're seeing it in our own country, as well so. I actually, think we're. Having a carnal conversation, about, the future the nation-state, do, we expect the United Kingdom, to be United. I'd. Be very surprised, if. We could still talk about a United, Kingdom and ten years time I'm. Not saying it's impossible but I'd be very surprised, so I think in the sense we're seeing it before our eyes that. The nation-state if it does survive is going to mutate I mean. I sometimes think London really should just declare, independence and, admit, we're Singapore, and get, on with it, because. The City of London has also hollowed, out the nation-state, it's. Done it beautifully, in the last 30 or 40 years and of. Course what we thought was national governments thought there was some really clever bargaining.
Going On here but, property, markets, money flows. Languages. Spoke and tell you that London is a global city and I think many many Londoners probably. Feel more affinity, to elsewhere, exactly. What resume, was trying to get at in, a slightly clumsy sort of way you. Know but she was kind of recognizing, that citizenship. And identity. Politics, are just so, much more complicated, than, simply. Mapping, neatly onto nation-states. Any, of you from mixed backgrounds, for example I am you. Know I've always had three countries, in my everyday life. Britain, Austrian, South Africa you know I've had multiple, languages, in my house so you, know trying. To pin me down as a British citizen was quite tricky and I think that matters a lot as well in terms of that identity politics and how these things map on I don't. Thank. You very much for a talk was really interesting. In, regards to territorial, changes, I'm, very concerned about Eastern. Europe because I'm, coming from Moldova which is a very small country ex-soviet, country, and, we're. Also what happened to Crimean not so long ago and now, I heard recently on TV, but Georgia, said that if brexit, must. Leave European Union we don't mind taking the place I was wondering shall. We expect, such, a. Aggressive. Reaction from Russia and regards to Georgia's. Claiming. That they want to be part of European Union, because, I think but, missing. Europe is not very stable I would say mostly. Both, small countries, but, are. Surrounding, Russia so what are your thoughts on this, well. I. Think. We. Should take very seriously what President, Putin says, and of. Course the whole flag planting, moment if I take you back that to answer your question occurred, in 2007. About, the same time President, Putin said that. The greatest geopolitical catastrophe, is, lifetime as the ending of the Soviet Union and. You. Know as you know in Russians. Also speak about the near abroad and it has a slightly ambiguous meaning, but, I think, it's quite clear that Russia sees, your. Country of origin and others as part of its a classic geopolitical. Term sphere, of influence. Now. That's that is also a problematic, term because what exactly, does influence, mean because. To a lot of citizens in Eastern and Europe, including the Baltics as well, influence. Often, means destabilization. It often means interference. And it, often means. Cultivating. An enduring. Sense. Of fear, and anxiety. And. I think it's no accident the many Eastern, European, states as, well, as Nordic, states, reacted. With alarm to, the annexation, of Crimea, and, we, know for example Ukraine. Provides, a sobering, story, of when. A country, wants, to gravitate, more closely towards, the European and NATO. And then, also, faces. A very very large neighbor that does not want, to see Ukraine. Gravitate. Towards, the EU and NATO from. Russia's point of view if I can if I can try and channel my the view, from the Kremlin I might. Say to myself if, I was sitting there since. 1991. Let's. Just think what's happened, we. Collapsed. We. Try, to embrace market, economics, bit. Of a disaster for. Many many citizens, although others got, fabulously. Wealthy, some.
Of That hot money goes, to the City of London and elsewhere and, doing. All kinds of work through property, and elsewhere in, the, meantime Eastern, and Central Europe that used to be part of the Warsaw Pact, is no, more and is, now safely. Enveloped, in the European and NATO and what's left a few countries like Moldova Belarus. For, example, that. Are kind. Of not quite there yet. Then. You factor in you have the war with Georgia where, the course the the Russians then start, to occupy, and expand. Their influence an autonomous region. Called. Ongoing, conflicts, in. Various, parts of Russia. You, know place like Chechnya for example it's, a pretty disturbing. View. From your point of view possibly, but, from Russia's point of view it's part of the pushback against. What they would see European, Union NATO opportunism. The other thing as well to bear in mind is Russia was absolutely. Furious about. What happened in Libya in 2011, where, it felt like it was tricked, by. The. NATO powers. So. There's a lot of I think anger. And resentment. But, also determination. To, restore, Russia's, great power status and, what I worry about is, is. That, those, Eastern European, states I'm afraid are very. Very much on the front line and and. You know I don't, have to tell you but you know you, know the, use of asymmetric, warfare is, one thing but, the digital, the cyber has proven incredibly. Productive way, of trying. To, network. That, sphere of influence. And that's deeply deeply disconcerting, hence, the reason why British troops were sent to Estonia, for example. So. I think Moldavia is in a really really difficult position. You. Know and, I think the other thing with a lot of NATO countries. In Eastern and Central Europe will look upon with immense, concern. Is. What. Does, it take, to trigger. An article, 5 moment, in. Other words what does it trigger what, does it take to trigger, a collective. Defence response, and at. The moment, you're managing anxiety, and fear you. Have a President, of the United States. Who. Does not appear, to be assigned, up to NATO as his, predecessors. Were deeply. Disconcerting. And does anybody, think in eastern and central Europe, that. If the United States is not involved, it's, going to end well. The. Other thing to bear in mind and you will know this of course I'm sure but, in eastern and central Europe, a really. Major day of celebration, has a bit of everyday geopolitics, for you is what, is called NATO day it's, a big big, deal in places, like the Czech Republic, people, really do fly NATO flags posters. Flags it is an immense, moment, of celebration. So. A dinner with the European Union I mean, you will see these flags fluttering. Everywhere. It, really is that important. So, yes III don't think you know that NATO's, in a bind in. Terms of expanding the membership, when. You've also got, a commander-in-chief as I said earlier who. Is proving, a little bit ambivalent. Whose. Mind might be more preoccupied, on Iran for example then. Southeast Europe. Favorite I'm not that fast, thank you so much coming in and. Thank. You very much. You.