1st Edition

Geo-economics and Power Politics in the 21st Century The Revival of Economic Statecraft

Edited By Mikael Wigell, Sören Scholvin, Mika Aaltola Copyright 2019
    250 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    250 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Starting from the key concept of geo-economics, this book investigates the new power politics and argues that the changing structural features of the contemporary international system are recasting the strategic imperatives of foreign policy practice.

    States increasingly practice power politics by economic means. Whether it is about Iran’s nuclear programme or Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Western states prefer economic sanctions to military force. Most rising powers have also become cunning agents of economic statecraft. China, for instance, is using finance, investment and trade as means to gain strategic influence and embed its global rise. Yet the way states use economic power to pursue strategic aims remains an understudied topic in International Political Economy and International Relations. The contributions to this volume assess geo-economics as a form of power politics. They show how power and security are no longer simply coupled to the physical control of territory by military means, but also to commanding and manipulating the economic binds that are decisive in today’s globalised and highly interconnected world. Indeed, as the volume shows, the ability to wield economic power forms an essential means in the foreign policies of major powers. In so doing, the book challenges simplistic accounts of a return to traditional, military-driven geopolitics, while not succumbing to any unfounded idealism based on the supposedly stabilising effects of interdependence on international relations. As such, it advances our understanding of geo-economics as a strategic practice and as an innovative and timely analytical approach.

    This book will be of much interest to students of security studies, international political economy, foreign policy and International Relations in general.

    1. Geo-economic Power Politics: An Introduction Sören Scholvin and Mikael Wigell
    2. Geo-economics as a Dimension of Grand Strategy: Notes on the Concept and Its Evolution Braz Baracuhy
    3. Interdependence as Dependence: Economic Security in the Age of Global Interconnectedness Christian O. Fjäder
    4. Critical Infrastructure in Geostrategic Competition: Comparing the US and Chinese Silk Road Projects Juha Käpylä and Mika Aaltola
    5. Germany’s Liberal Geo-economics: Using Markets for Strategic Objectives Hans Kundnani
    6. The Russian ‘Pivot’ to Asia-Pacific: Geo-economic Expectations and Disappointments Pavel K. Baev
    7. US Grand Strategy in Flux: Geo-economics, Geopolitics and the Liberal International Order Kari Möttölä
    8. Leverage of Economic Sanctions: The Case of US Sanctions against Iran, 1979-2016 Paul Rivlin
    9. Energy and the Future of US Primacy: The Geostrategic Consequences of the Shale Revolution Niklas Rossbach
    10. Learning Geo-economics: China’s Experimental Path towards Financial and Monetary Leadership Mikko Huotari
    11. Development Lending as Financial Statecraft? A Comparative Exploration of the Practices of China and Japan Mikael Mattlin and Bart Gaens
    12. China’s Economic Statecraft in Latin America: Geostrategic Implications for the United States Mikael Wigell and Ana Soliz Landivar
    13. Oil as a Strategic Means in Venezuela’s Foreign Policy: The Cases of ALBA and Petrocaribe, 1998-2013 Martha Lucía Márquez Restrepo
    14. India, Pakistan and the Contest for Regional Hegemony: The Role of Geo-economics Smruti S. Pattanaik
    15. Geo-economics and Geopolitics in Sub-Saharan African Power Politics Sören Scholvin
    16. Conclusion Sören Scholvin, Mikael Wigell and Mika Aaltola


    Mikael Wigell is Senior Research Fellow at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs and Adjunct Professor in International Political Economy at the University of Tampere, Finland.

    Sören Scholvin is Research Fellow at the Institute of Economic and Cultural Geography, University of Hanover, Germany.

    Mika Aaltola is Director of the Global Security Programme at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs. He also works as Professor of International Relations at Tallinn University, Estonia.