The intention of this blog is to explore the very establishment field of geopolitics from a non-establishment perspective. The mythological figure of the trickster (think of Hermes in the classical world, Coyote for the Plains Indians, Raven for the Pacific Northwest, Loki in Scandinavia, the Tanuki in Japan, Reynard the Fox in western Europe, Anansi in Sub-Saharan Africa, Monkey in China and many more) was a perennial outsider whose influence upended previous received wisdom and changed the nature of the order around them.
The thing with International Relations (IR), and the particular sub-set of it that is focused on alliance networks, grand strategy, and other related fields called geopolitics which we will be exploring in this blog, is that the great achievements of diplomats and strategists often follow similar paths in history to the meandering and surprising journeys of the trickster in mythology. The problem is that much of contemporary IR scholarship is focused on the predictable. Quantitative theories attempt to predict the future of states with mathematics while many qualitative theories forget the big picture in order to indulge in contemplating the feelings engendered by ones identity or media consumption. These approaches and others like them may have uses for particular fields, but when it comes to the core of big issue IR-geopolitics and strategy- they have caused the discipline to lose much of its way.
In addition to highlighting the role that outsider thinking has shaped strategy in history as well as today, it will also be the purpose of this blog to advocate on behalf of viewing the world devoid of fashionable jargon. Like the legends of trickster, when coming upon an idea which is held by many and therefore assumed to be true no mercy will be shown if said idea is lacking in actual merit. This of course does not mean that all popular or fashionable ideas are wrong, and rote contrarianism would become boring and predictable on its own anyway, but merely that whether to dispute or defend an established theory, an outside perspective is always beneficial.
Hopefully you will enjoy the ride.