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 and human rights. 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 of all, 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 aim to shed light on the place of Europe and the EU in this challenging geopolitical environment. Third, our research focuses on the geopolitical dimensions of global energy transformation. Fourth, we seek to understand how the complex interplay between these geopolitical challenges and domestic political developments shapes foreign and security policies. From a critical perspective, we also aim at problematizing geopolitics as a discursive practice, while focusing on how and for which purpose geopolitical identities and visions are constructed in the first place.

GIES researchers affiliated with this research area:


Post-doctoral researchers: