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Day 38 – Q 1. What do you understand by the term ‘geopolitics’? Explain. How does resource endowment shape the geopolitics of a region? Illustrate.

  • IASbaba
  • July 23, 2020
  • 0
GS 1, TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing, World Geography
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1. What do you understand by the term ‘geopolitics’? Explain. How does resource endowment shape the geopolitics of a region? Illustrate.   

भूराजनीतिशब्द से आप क्या समझते हैं? समझाएं। संसाधन किसी क्षेत्र की भूराजनीति को कैसे आकार देती है? उदाहरण देकर स्पष्ट करें।

Demand of the question:

It expects students to clarify with relevant facts and implications the meaning of the term ‘geopolitics’. It also expects to investigate and establish the key facts and issues related to how resource endowment shape the geopolitics of a region.

Introduction:

Geopolitics is the study of the effects of Earth’s geography (human and physical) on politics and international relations. In general terms geopolitics refers to countries and relations between them.

Body:

Geopolitics focuses on political power linked to geographic space. In particular, territorial waters and land territory in correlation with diplomatic history. Topics of geopolitics include relations between the interests of international political actors focused within an area, a space, or a geographical element; relations which create a geopolitical system.

  • Geopolitics requires at least two actors to be separated geographically (usually in different countries or continents). Both (or more) actors must be aware of each other.
  • Geopolitics is reliant upon this kind of knowledge and geographical location.
  • Knowledge of each other is important because that assumes that both actors will act strategically. For instance, if two people owned parts of a forest, it can be assumed that both people would be interested in how the other approaches fire safety, because a fire could harm everyone’s land.
  • The political processes include forces that operate at the international level and those on the domestic scene that influence international behaviour. Both geographical settings and political processes are dynamic, each influences and is influenced by the other.
  • Geopolitics usually focuses on the subjects such as resource endowment, trade, pollution, travel, immigration etc.

As the ice started to melt in the  Arctic region, Arctic ocean surrounding countries have expedited their actions to emerge as highly resource endowed by claiming more land in the Arctic. It shows the importance of resource endowment. In this COVID-19 Pandemic resource endowment has gained importance due to its effects on the International relations.

  • As we know, on the Earth no country can claim that it is Self sufficient in Resources. Hence, the resource endowments of countries form the foundations of International relations. e.g. India imports more than 80% of its oil and gas needs from the Gulf region, and exports refined petroleum which forms 13.7% of total exports.
  • As we know Africa is resource rich continent, but due to geographical and historical reasons this region is highly underdeveloped, surrounded by conflicts in many parts, economically down sided and lags to utilize its true potential. Hence, Countries all over the world   are seeking diversification of its oil supplies away from the Middle East and Africa can play an important role in changing energy matrix.
  • Multilateral engagement was launched with the first India Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) in 2008. India is investing in capacity building providing more than $1 billion in technical assistance and training to personnel under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) program. 
  • Here training the human resource of the African countries is helping to improve the relations between two nations.
  • The Gulf region has become a major economic partner, is home to over 4 million Indians and a major source of oil and gas. So the highly oil resource endowed region of West Asia despite the cultural differences is emerging as a major world player. For instance, Saudi Arabia exports around 16.3 billion dollars oil to India.
  • Land as a resource forms the basis for security of the region. Russia with its vast expanse of landmass is a major arms and ammunitions player on the global scale. So, Many of the countries maintain good relations with Russia.
  • Also resource endowments give value to  say of the countries on world scale. e.g. China which accounts for more than 80% of the rare earth metals is asserts its say whenever needs to.
  • South east Asian nations are the major rice and fish exporters,  especially Vietnam is major exporter of Palm oil in the world. Hence, resource endowments help the small countries such as Vietnam to stand shoulder to shoulder with big developed countries like USA.
  • Resource endowments ensures Security of the region. It also helps to maintain good relations for the sake of greater good of greater number of people. 
  • But sometimes the greediness of the resources leads to conflicts in the some regions. e.g. USA’s invasion in Iran under the motive to control  oil resources.

Conclusion:

As we have seen that resource endowment of countries impact the geopolitics on various fronts. Though the resources are  necessary for the human civilization to survive, their excessive use will harm the nature. Hence, we need to adopt a sustainable approach while utilizing the resources, which will surely help to have good geopolitical implications.

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