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Geopolitics analyses politics with reference to geography. The term was coined by Rudolph Kjellen, a Swedish political geographer, at the end of the 19th century. The discipline gained attention largely through the work of Sir Halford Mackinder in England and his formulation of the Heartland Theory in 1904 and Karl Haushofer in Germany working for Adolf Hitler in the early 20th century.

In the abstract, geopolitics traditionally indicates the links and causal relationships between political power and geographic space; in concrete terms it is often seen as a body of thought assaying specific strategic prescriptions based on the relative importance of land power and sea power in world history. . . . The geopolitical tradition had some consistent concerns, like the geopolitical correlates of power in world politics, the identification of international core areas, and the relationships between naval and terrestrial capabilities.—Oyvind Osterud, The Uses and Abuses of Geopolitics, Journal of Peace Research, no. 2, 1988, p. 191''

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See Also: Strategic depth