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Geopolitics: Definition And Real World Examples

Updated on May 26, 2014
Rare Earth Elements
Rare Earth Elements

Geopolitics is a way to understand how the geographiclocation of a state, can affect those that live in a state, as well as their role in the rest of the world.States that can contain themselves and supply their own people’s needs, has a large advantage over the states that cannot do the same.Oil and a way to make power is a big advantage in global politics, thus the lack is a huge disadvantage.States that are close to waterways to get supplies in and out, can have huge advantages over land-locked states that cannot.

“REEs are made up of 17 chemical elements on the periodic table, all of which are used in cell phones, monitors, car batteries, guided missiles, fiber optic cables, and wind turbines, among other things” (Fulman, 2013).In seeing what they REEs are used for, one can understand the power that states that own it will have.Presently, China produces almost 90% of these REEs, however they only possess a little over 20 percent of the world’s stockpile.By taking advantage of the state’s lax environmental regulations, and pushing production, China was able to put most other mines out of business with their rock bottom prices.They have also used their control over the market to punish other states for foreign policy they do not agree with, such as Japan in 2010.

China is at least a high populated, large nations, so maybe the REEs do not give it power, however when you look at a country like Qatar, you quickly realize their power comes from something.Qatar, like China, has something in large quantities that the world wants. Gas.The small country nestled between Saudia Arabia and Iran, has the third largest natural gas deposit in the world.“The gas gives the nearly quarter of a million Qatari citizens the highest per capita income on the planet and provides 70 percent of government revenue” (Imonti, 2012). This resource, the state’s geographical asset, has cemented an otherwise nothing nation, with enough power to keep their assets intact. Their size however, forced them to get larger states like the United States to protect them, in exchange for better gas prices.


Fulman, R. (2013, October). Rare Earth Elements Power the World, and China Controls Them All - PolicyMic. Retrieved from

Imonti, F. (2012, September). Qatar: Rich and Dangerous. Retrieved from


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    • Hackslap profile image


      4 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      It is a subject which interests and fascinates me a lot! .. moreover..current Geopolitics is all commodity driven and many of our foreign policies these days can be traced straight back into our corporate boardrooms

      Good hub!


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