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date: 15 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Powers, great and small, cannot overcome their geography; great powers cannot resist practising geopolitics. The makers of Russian geopolitics always had a sense that the mastery of space was fundamental to the exercise of power; that space meant the great river and sea basins constituting the Eurasian amphitheatre; and that the purpose of geopolitics was to restructure the Eurasian space in such a way that Moscow would become its political, economic and civilizational centre. Analysing the inter-relationships between geography, foreign policy, clientele politics and economic development, this chapter charts the ways in which successive Russian elites attempted to achieve that aim.

Keywords: geopolitics, geographical determinism, vicinal space, Eurasia, Coastlands, Heartland, Mackinder, men of power, patronage networks, Grossraumwirtschaft

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