Ernest Wyciszkiewicz

List of articles

International relations suffer from a plethora of pseudo-theoretical approaches. Some of these approaches claim the right not only to explain but also to shape the international reality. These will quite often become instrumental in the legitimization of a given state’s policies. Nuances, caveats, and an awareness of limitations give way to simplicity, unambiguity and self-confidence. The aim of this article is to critically deconstruct certain ways of thinking about inter-state relations and international policy that are usually attributed to advocates of geopolitics and naïve realism. What makes vague but attractive geopolitical jargon, belief in determinism, enchantment with maps and admiration for the ‘concert of powers’ so popular, and what consequences might the adoption of geopolitical assumptions have for contemporary political practice? The popular mono-causal approaches that are full of hasty but firm generalizations about the laws of history have the upper hand over pluralist ones that look for a multitude of usually inconclusive explanations. The reason for this might not simply be analytical laziness; the fact is that the aforementioned popular, simplistic, even trivial observations dressed in quasi-scientific costume serve as a convenient source of legitimacy for revisionist leaders who wish to be seen as defenders of the status quo. Keywords: geopolitics, determinism, concert of powers, maps, legitimization