Application of Post-colonialism View in Geopolitical Analysis

Document Type : Original Article


PhD Graduated of Political Geography, Tehran University, Tehran, Iran


In its development, critical geopolitics have undergone many changes and turned into a filed covering various issues including war, culture, representation, identity, gender, resistance and etc. And now different Suffixes of critical geopolitics (such as postmodern geopolitics and feminist geopolitics) have emerged. Post-colonialism is amongst the views which have been recently highlighted in the field of critical geopolitics. Despite the fact that post-colonial studies are intrinsically geographical and political, few experts in the field of political geography have attended to post-colonialism. Considering that post-colonialism is effective to analyze most of the current world issues, the present article is aimed at studying the application of post-colonialism view in geopolitical analyses.
This study is of theoretical-fundamental type with a descriptive-analytic research methodology. Given the nature of selected subject matter, required information was collected through library and internet research; meaning that the data were extracted from books and articles and then classified for more qualitative analysis.
Results and Discussion
Post-colonialism does not have a single origin; but consists of different reactions to colonialism and decolonialization which have inspired both liberalization contention and academic studies. However, the effect of postcolonial theory can be traced in works of some writers like Frantz Fanon, Subaltern group studies, Edward Said, Homi Bhabha and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. Knowledge and power are included within in the heart of post-colonialism. Focusing on knowledge has led to thinking about methods which, in return, create geographical imagination of social worlds. This issue has highlighted that how people and societies understand themselves as well as their relations with each other.
The most important applications of post-colonialism in geopolitical analyses were reviewed in the present article. Four main applications were identified: first, studying the orientalism view in the current world. In this regard, post-colonial studies review and criticize the role of realism in making of 'exception' and 'difference' in creation of identity. Post-colonial analyses indicate that orientalism is still alive in the policies pursued by the West for its re-domination of inferior countries. Second, using post-colonialism in studies related to Subaltern geopolitics, which analyzes marginalized issues and geopolitical and geographical imaginations of minorities who have been marginalized against the power. Third application of post-colonialism in geopolitics is in the analysis of war and violence. Such issues as pain and agony of civilians in current wars, and how wars are done and spaces through which wars are done, are discussed. Bio-political analysis can be considered as the last possible application of post-colonialism in geopolitics. In this regard security and political procedures of the West with regard to human life in specific spaces are discussed. Accordingly, security procedures of the West are not determined by "geopolitics" or "bio-politics" alone, but by a "toxic combination" of the both.  
There has recently emerged a constructive interaction between geopolitical analyses and post-colonialism. Post-colonialism theory demonstrates the partiality of knowledge, especially which produced in colonial Europe. Findings of the present study showed that post-colonialism in geopolitics criticizes the role of realism in creation of 'exception' and 'difference'. Post-colonialism particularly focuses on Subaltern and weak states, groups and people in the current world. It also provides a critical analysis of the intersection among bio-politics, geopolitics and geo-economics. Given the current procedures of the world, post-colonialism is considered as a view that can be used for the analysis of many geopolitical issues.


Volume 13, Issue 46
June 2017
Pages 121-150
  • Receive Date: 20 July 2016
  • Revise Date: 04 September 2016
  • Accept Date: 22 December 2016
  • First Publish Date: 22 June 2017