The conduct of foreign policy requires that a state’s objectives and demands be projected through space to specific geographical locations.
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Mission of the Mackinder Forum
The conduct of foreign policy requires that a state’s objectives and demands be projected through space to specific geographical locations. In short the modern state has still to ensure that the geographical structure of the field, within which its power is exercised, is as favorable as possible while ensuring that its enemies or potential enemies are disadvantaged with respect to the geographical structure in which they have to operate.
One of the ways that the development of the geographical structure can be understood is through geopolitical analysis. This approach looks at geographical patterns of political history. From this explanations are deduced which suggest the contemporary and future relevance of various configurations and geographical concepts. In other words geopolitics is the connecting bridge between geography and international relations, a combination of conditioning influences and the changing meaning of geographical conditions. It examines constraints and opportunities for the projection of military force, the expansion of markets, and the diffusion of information, innovation and cultural values.
Geopolitical analysts seek to make useful predictions regarding how states:
- enhance their national security at the expense of adversaries,
- take advantage of the process of economic globalization, and
- regulate the impact of other cultures on national values.
Grand strategy requires the establishment of long-term goals with regard to national security. Once such goals are established, the geopolitical analyst assesses the comparative capabilities of likely adversaries, competitors, neutrals, friends, and allies.
The Mackinder Forum will raise the profile of geopolitics as a field of study and to increase its academic standing
In light of the transformations of the international system since the fall of the Soviet Union and 9/11, the Mackinder Forum coordinators have determined that the goals of the Forum shall be to:
- promote the study of geopolitics;
- raise the profile of geopolitics as a field of study and to increase its academic standing;
- bring together military officers, diplomats, policy makers, academics and businessmen to debate contemporary geopolitical issues;
- provide a forum for the exchange and dissemination of new geopolitical ideas and concepts; and
- investigate the geopolitical foundations of democratic institutions and ideals.
When viewed from an international perspective, the Mackinder Forum will consist of a number of autonomous nationally or regionally based organizations. In the United States, the Forum will be both a professional association of scholars and practitioners of geopolitics. Eventually, a think tank may be established to facilitate the work of the Mackinder Forum.
The Mackinder Forum will hold conferences devoted to geopolitical analysis, establish a journal, and seek funding.
The activities of the Mackinder Forum shall be to:
- hold occasional conferences, seminars, and workshops devoted to geopolitical analysis;
- establish a journal devoted to geopolitics; and
- seek funding in order to expand existing activities and engage in new projects.
Image of Mackinder used in the website logo adapted from photo originally published in “The Right Honourable Sir Halford J. Mackinder,” P. C., 1861-1947, E. W. Gilbert, The Geographical Journal, Vol. 110, No. 1/3 (Jul. – Sep., 1947), pp. 94-99.