On Geopolitics

Baleful and Benign: The Backyards of Great Powers

Aug 22, 2017 | 08:00 GMT

The realities of power politics and the continuing salience of geography suggest that the deeper geopolitical forces driving the creation of spheres of influence are still very much alive. 

(Shutterstock)

The Monroe Doctrine proved to be the first modern example of what has come to be known as a sphere of influence, or more colloquially, a backyard. The former term was only first used itself in 1867, when Russian diplomat Alexander Gorchakov assured Britain's Lord Clarendon that Afghanistan "lay completely outside the sphere within which Russia might be called to exercise her influence." (At the time, the two countries were caught in midst of the the Great Game, a decades-long struggle between the Russian and British empires for control of Central Asia.) But spheres of influence have a long a storied history that began well before the rise of Europe, from the tributary states of Ming and Qing China to the highly devolved quasi-empire of ancient India's Gupta dynasty....

For Serious People Who Seek Intelligence Over News

Subscribe Today for $149!

12-Month Introductory Offer.

  • High quality, unbiased analysis of global events
  • Quarterly, annual, and decade geopolitical forecasts
  • Customized notifications, newsletters, and much more

Preview Some FREE Worldview Articles Below:

Free Coronavirus Articles

Free Geopolitical Articles

Article Search

Copyright © Stratfor Enterprises, LLC. All rights reserved.

Stratfor Worldview

OUR COMMITMENT

To empower members to confidently understand and navigate a continuously changing and complex global environment.