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Critical Geopolitics

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Geopolitics and Business

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Abstract

In this chapter, Nestorovic covers critical geopolitics and its relationship with business. He begins by quoting the main authors like John O’Loughlin and Gearoid O’Tuathail and continues with the essence of critical geopolitics. This essence is found in philosophy and sociology, and authors like Michel Foucault of Jacques Derrida, more than in geography, military, and materiality, which dominate classical geopolitics. In this chapter, Nestorovic puts the emphasis on social constructivism and the power of knowledge and discourse as salient elements of critical geopolitics. He wants to demonstrate that business does not oppose critical geopolitics because corporations do not live in a vacuum. Several examples are given on how corporations use knowledge and discourse in innovation, strategy, and marketing practices.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    https://www.top500.org

  2. 2.

    www.europarl.europa.eu/summits/lis1_en.htm

  3. 3.

    See Chapter 5, ‘Relocating and Rebuilding the Palace Museum on Taiwan’, in Jeannette Elliott, David Shambaugh, The Odyssey of China’s Imperial Art Treasures, University of Washington Press, 2005, pp. 93–109

  4. 4.

    The list of 6 polymaths includes Hypathia of Alexandria, Jagadish Chadra Bose, Mikhail Lomonosov, Edward Heron-Allen, Shen Kuo, and Hildegard of Bingen. See the post on https://explorethearchive.com/famous-polymaths

  5. 5.

    The most important attack on Plato was given by Karl Popper in his book: The Open Society and Its Ennemies Vol 1 The Spell of Plato, first published in 1945, now reprinted by Princeton University Press, 2020. The accusation of racism is debated in a paper by George Klosko, ‘Racism in Plato’s Republic’, History of Political Thought, Vol. 12, N° 1, Spring 1991, pp. 1–13

  6. 6.

    William Cohen starts his article with the following words: ‘The European imperial powers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries viewed their African and Asian subjects as children, as men not fully grown, whose destiny had to be guided by the presumably more advanced states of Europe’, in ‘The Colonized as Child: British and French Colonial Rule’, African Historical Studies, Vol. 3, N° 2, 1970, pp. 427–431, p. 427

  7. 7.

    Excrept from Mao Zedong, ‘Introducing a cooperative,’ 1958, available on www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-8/mswv8_09.htm

  8. 8.

    The full sentence is: ‘And irrespective of what one might assume, in the life of a science, problems do not arise by themselves. It is precisely this that marks out a problem as being of the true scientific spirit: all knowledge is in response to a question. If there were no questions, there would be no scientific knowledge. Nothing proceeds from itself. Nothing is given. Everything is constructed’, Gaston Bachelard, The Formation of the Scientific Mind, first published in French in 1934, Clinamen Press, 2002, p. 25

  9. 9.

    The website www.radicalconstructivism.com pays tribute to Ernst von Glasersfeld as the founder of critical constructivism. He claimed that knowledge is not passively received but actively built up by the cognizing subject. According to him, ‘Those who … do not explicitly give up the notion that our conceptual constructions can or should in some way represent an independent, ‘objective’ reality, are still caught up in the traditional theory of knowledge.’

  10. 10.

    ‘Contraction and Convergence, A Global Solution to a Global problem,’ 3 June 1997, available at http://www.gci.org.uk/Documents/ZEW_CONTRACTION_&_CONVERGENCE.pdf

  11. 11.

    Paul Bond, ‘Math Suffers from White Supremacy, according to a Bill Gates-Funded Course,’ Newsweek, February 23, 2021. Newsweek quotes the website www.equitablemath.org according to which ‘White supremacy culture shows up in math classrooms when… The focus is on getting the ‘right’ answer.’

  12. 12.

    The milestone article about disruption has been written by Joseph Bower and Clayton Christensen, ‘Disruptive Technologies: Catching the Wave, how companies can prepare for tomorrow’s customers without losing their focus on today’s.’ Harvard Business Review, January–February 1995, pp. 43–53

  13. 13.

    See www.coface.com

  14. 14.

    Eward Sapir gives an older discussion about the importance of language in ‘Language as a Form of Human Behavior’, The English Journal, Vol. 16, N°6, June 1927, pp. 421–433; while Barnardine Racoma gives a more contemporary view, ‘Language Shapes the Way People Think and Behave’, June 20, 2018, available on https://www.daytranslations.com/blog/language-shapes-thinking/

  15. 15.

    Benedict Anderson analyzes how the state perpetuates an imaginary community. The tools used by the state can be the census of populations, which permits to frame a population in each country, a map, which permits to frame the territory identified with one population. A tool can be the National Museum, which frames a history associated to the population and territory. See the latest version of his book, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, first published in 1983, Verso, 2016

  16. 16.

    Max Weber, quoted by Patrick Jackson, ‘Foregrounding Ontology, Dualism, Monism and IR Theory’op. cit. p. 147

  17. 17.

    This statement is a response by Foucault to a question from the journal Herodote in 1976

  18. 18.

    The opening of his book is is clear, ‘The battle to feed all of humanity is lost’. Paul Ehrlich, ‘The Population Bomb: Population Control or Race to Oblivion’, Ballantine Books (expanded edition), 1971, p. 1

  19. 19.

    See the PISA rankings from 2018 and the analysis of B-S-J-Z (China) performance on www.oecd.org/pisa/publications/PISA2018_CN_QCI.pdf

  20. 20.

    https://trip.wm.edu/data/dashboard/faculty-survey

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Nestorović, Č. (2023). Critical Geopolitics. In: Geopolitics and Business. Contributions to International Relations. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-45325-0_3

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