During the interwar period, the French geopolitical thinkers(Jacques Ancel and Albert Démangeon are two of the most outstandingrepresentatives) were critical of the German doctrine, considering thescience of geopolitics to be “
la science propagandiste allemande
” whichaimed to rationalize “
une expansion infinie
”. They countered
(the French for Ratzel’s lebensraum) with the concepts of
(friendly agreement of two or more countries on issues of commoninterest, such as la petite entente established by Yugoslavia,Czechoslovakia and Romania after WWI directed mainly againstHungary, which having lost two thirds of its prewar territory at the Treatyof Trianon in 1920 was aggressively revisionist in regard to all three) and
.Especially during the 1930s,4 the French geopolitics proved to bevery different from that of the German one, the attention being placed onthe pressing problems of Europe and less concern being given to themilitary and strategic questions. The study of geopolitics in France cameto a sharp end with the defeat by Germany in 1940. For many years after the end of WWII, the subject was avoided, particularly because of itsassociations with Nazi policies. It was only during the 1970s that thesubject has been revisited by Yves Lacoste who advocated the leadingrole of geographers in developing a better understanding of thegeopolitical reality of the world. The French periodical Herodote(established in 1976) whose editor is Yves Lacoste, considers that themain objective in the filed of geopolitics is the critical examination of global issues from a geographical perspective, with a view to reaching anunderstanding which can lead to action. Another contribution of theFrench geopolitics lies in the replacement of the term geopolitics with “lagéographie politique du pouvoir”, the study of the nature and distributionof power in the wider sense and its relationship to political power specifically (Claude Raffestin).
Geopolitics in Germany
Both British and French geopolitics evolved in accordance withtheir respective countries positions within the European world order of the late 19
and late 20
centuries. Similarly, geopolitics in Germany can best be understood with references to German history and geography.France and Britain along with the other nations of Western Europe,had achieved political unity, having emerged as nation-states by theRenaissance. In contrast, German-speaking areas of central Europe werecharacterized by deep political fragmentation until the middle of the 19
century. Only under the dominance of Bismarck’s Prussia in the mid-19
century did Germany achieve political unification.