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10.5593/sgemsocial2018H/11/S12.097

THE ROLE OF ELITES IN GEOPOLITICAL STUDIES

N. Morgado
Tuesday 10 April 2018 by lib_admin

References: 5th International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conference on Social Sciences and Arts SGEM 2018, www.sgemvienna.org, SGEM2018 Vienna ART Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7408-30-0 / ISSN 2367-5659, 19 - 21 March, 2018, Vol. 5, Issue 1.1; 765-772 pp, DOI: 10.5593/sgemsocial2018H/11/S12.097

ABSTRACT

The neoclassical realist approach considers systemic stimuli (independent), and élites’ perceptions and capacities (intervening) as the variables of an explanatory model of foreign policy outcomes (dependent variable).
Starting from the central assumptions of Ethology and Classical Élites Theory, with the view to delimitate élites as the foreign policy executive, or the geopolitical agent, this paper aims to reinforce the importance of the intervening variables élites’ perceptions and capacities in shaping the geopolitical design and the foreign policy responses. The true core of the paper, however, is to expand the scope of geopolitical studies by including the methodological step of studying élites’ perceptions and capacities. In doing so, the matter concerns to the analysis of both (i) how the élites can perceive the geographical space (Raumsinn), and (ii) what are élites’ capacities in managing resources assigned to the foreign policy.
The purpose of the paper is then threefold: (i) conceptual, because it deals with definition of terms and their differentiation, (ii) theoretical, since the paper intends to revisit the neoclassical realist approach and merge it with geopolitical studies trying to forge a joint approach, and (iii) methodological as it provides methodological guidelines about the new framework.
Therefore, the paper brings the innovation of including insights of the neoclassical realist intervening variables into the geopolitical studies’ framework for a more accurate and enhanced scope of geopolitical analysis in the future.

Keywords: Geopolitical Studies, Neoclassical Realism, Methodology, State, Foreign Policy


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