ABSTRACT. The author submits his two intentions for writing this essay: first, to clarify the two international-relations models, realism and classical geopolitics, and second, to show why the models should separate. Below, the Introduction will provide reasons for a separation. In Part One, the author will define each model, its primary characteristics. In Part Two, he will outline differences and similarities. And in Parts Three and Four, to further differentiate and show value, the author will demonstrate the utility of dividing the two, how this will broaden an understanding by examining how realism and geopolitics have influenced the thoughts and actions of three scholars and two presidents and have impacted on the parameters of several foreign-affairs sketches. It will be shown that the two approaches differ in their assumptions and theories. After each of the models is drawn and then utilized, a new clarity and preciseness will be evident from their separation.

Keywords: realism and classical geopolitics; the three Americas; strategic balances between Eurasia and North America

How to cite: Kelly, Phil (2019). “Rescuing Classical Geopolitics: Separating Geopolitics from Realism,” Geopolitics, History, and International Relations 11(1): 41–58.

Received 9 July 2018 • Received in revised form 29 October 2018
Accepted 5 November 2018 • Available online 10 December 2018


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