Geography limits us and defines our possibilities in fundamental ways.
A nation’s physical location — at a vital choke point, like the outlet of the Red Sea; commanding the waves on Europe’s northwest fringe; at the vulnerable end of the wide open North European Plain — does much to dictate its strengths and fears. As does its store of resources, and its location in relation to powerful neighbours.
Marshall’s previous book, Prisoners of Geography, focused on the big players: Russia, China, the US, EU and more.
He used ten maps of crucial regions to explain the geo-political strategies of world powers.
Why is Putin so obsessed with Crimea? Why was the US destined to become a global superpower? Why will Europe never be united?
This time he turns his lens on States that are increasingly important in our multipolar post-Cold War world.
He covers the role of Iran in fomenting instability across the Middle East, Turkey’s growing “neo-Ottoman” ambitions, the perils and possibilities of Australia, and the continuing instability of The Sahel — and why it matters for Europe.
At the end of the book, he addresses looming conflicts over the geopolitics of space.
That’s just part of what’s in store for the curious reader.
“We are entering a new age of great-power rivalry in which numerous actors, even minor players, are jostling to take centre stage.”
The Power of Geography is essential reading in these increasingly fractured times.