Geopolitical Theories

Anu Manjesh & Briana Thomas

" Compare and contrast the major geopolitical theories: Organic theory, Heartland theory, and the Rimland theory. What geographers are associated with each?"


The study that analyzes geography, history and social science with reference to international politics. Geopolitical scholars mainly study state(country), national security and territory.


HEARTLAND THEORY: Geographer: Halford John Mackinder

Early 20th century, theory believing the earths land surface was divided into parts. One was the world island. The "world-island" is the landmass of Euro-Asia-Africa. The control of this landmass by any one state or power would have control a lot of the human and material resources, and have enough power to rule the world.

RIMLAND THEORY: Geographer: Nicholas Spykman

Theory made in the mid-20th century that the base of the conquest of the world would be provided by the coastal edges of Eurasia.

ORGANIC THEORY: Geographer: Friedrich Ratzel

Theory that compared a state to a living organism, believing that highly populated countries must spread out and take more land as nourishment for their people. This theory believed that parts of a country worked like parts of a organism.


Heartland vs. Rimland

The two theories, Heartland and Rimland, are most alike. Both theories, believe that controlling a certain area of land, will give you enough power to control the world and it's resources. However, they differ because the Rimland Theory states you can gain this power by controlling the coastal edges of Eurasia and the Heartland theory says that if you have control over the world- island that you will have the capacity to control the world.

Heartland - Rimland vs. Organic

The organic theory relates to both The Heartland and Rimland theories because it talks about the power of land and what it could do for a country. Although, the difference comes because the organic theory refers to gaining more general land not a specific area as we see the other two theories talk about. Also the Organic theory has more to do with population growth that will better benefit the country and the other theories deal more with gaining a certain land area will give them power to control the world.


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