Mackinder Forum Seminar #33: Jakub Grygiel, “The Limits of Sea Power”

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On June 12, 2021, 11:00 am to 12:30 pm, Eastern US Time, Professor Jakub Grygiel presented a talk on “The Limits of Seapower.”

Abstract: Sea powers are blessed with the possibility of greatness but they also face important limitations. The core problem is that their maritime superiority does not translate easily and automatically into control over the political dynamics on land. A maritime power’s grand strategy that does not constantly evaluate these limits, and adopt policies to mitigate them, is likely to fail. Such policies include establishing control over “brown waters” near the rival and maintaining some continental presence. They vary depending on the nature of the rival, requiring therefore a continual assessment of the rival and of the geographic contours of the competition.
Readings: to be sent via a separate email.

Biography: Jakub Grygiel is a professor of politics at The Catholic University of America (Washington, DC), a senior advisor at The Marathon Initiative, and a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution. In 2017-2018 he was a Senior Advisor in the Office of Policy Planning at the Department of State. Previously, he was a Senior Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis and an associate professor at SAIS-Johns Hopkins University in Washington DC. He is the author of Return of the Barbarians (Cambridge University Press, 2018), Great Powers and Geopolitical Change (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006), and co-author with Wess Mitchell of The Unquiet Frontier (Princeton University Press, 2016). His writings have appeared in Foreign Affairs, The American Interest, Security Studies, Journal of Strategic Studies, National Interest, Claremont Review of Books, Orbis, Commentary, Parameters, as well as several U.S. and foreign newspapers. He earned a Ph.D., M.A. and an MPA from Princeton University, and a BSFS Summa Cum Laude from Georgetown University.

Reading: Jakub Grygiel, The Limits of Sea Power,” Naval War College Review, Fall 2021, forthcoming.