Both a historical analysis and a call to arms, this is the comprehensive policy guide to understanding and engaging in the geopolitics of Eurasia.
The 20th century was dominated by three visions of Eurasian geopolitics: "The World Island," "Containment," and "Prometheism." The World Island: Eurasian Geopolitics and the Fate of the West posits a fourth vision of Eurasian geopolitics: the 21st-century Geopolitical Strategy for Eurasia.
Through an original and comprehensive analysis and synthesis of the ideas of Sir Halford Mackinder, George Kennan, and Jozef Pilsudski, this title reestablishes fundamental Western strategy objectives. It analyzes the state of and potential for Western engagement with China, Afghanistan, Turkey, Russia, and other Eurasian states and sets out what is at stake for the West in the Eurasian theater. Promoting a robust strategy to further and protect essential Western values, the author argues for the development of trade and energy links, coupled with the promotion of good governance and the facilitation of policy independence, integration, and Western-orientation among the Eurasian nations.
- Five maps showing Mackinder's Heartland of the World Island, Kennan's Containment of the World Island, Pilsudski's Prometheism, Pilsudski's Intermarum, and Petersen's 21st Century Geopolitical Strategy for Eurasia
- A chronology
- Presents a new geopolitical vision for the 21st century, clearly communicating what is at stake for the West in the Eurasian theatre and urging a robust, forward strategy to further and protect essential Western values
- Offers the 21st century's first comprehensive consideration of Eurasian geopolitics, as well as the only complete analysis of the ideas that shaped Western strategy in Eurasia during the 20th century
- Presents in-depth analysis of Western engagement with Eurasian countries, from Belarus to Mongolia, Turkey to Afghanistan
"A lively, diverse book about a lesser-known area of the world, it offers a challenging set of policy recommendations with the backup of the work of earlier realist thinkers."
“A sweeping, succinct and convincing argument for Transatlantic unity. With Europe’s energy needs increasing, the emergence of China, the uncertainty of Russia’s future, and NATO’s involvement in Afghanistan Petersen makes clear that we ignore Eurasia at our peril. For those who want to understand the vital importance of Eurasia Petersen's strategy could not have come at a better time."
"Too many post-modern thinkers of the past few decades have ignored the fundamentals of geopolitics. However, the world is never post-geography -- and the fundamental rooting of power and purpose in geography and geopolitics is a bedrock of any thinking about foreign relations. Add to that calculus of power the importance of ideas and institutions, such as those that have animated the West and its commensurate rise over the past six centuries, and one has a framework for thinking about what is next in the global order. Petersen offers exactly such a framework, in a digestible and useful way. The control of the Eurasian landmass and especially America's role in that formula will determine much of the shape of geopolitics for the next century. This book enlightens us to the nature of that challenge."
“Insightful and disconcerting analysis: essential reading for anyone concerned with Western security”.
"Alexandros Petersen has clearly captured the 'new world order' that is evolving in the early years of the 21st Century. Alexandros' vivid description of the rise of the East in the Global geo-strategic landscape offers Western policy makers a prescriptive for what must be addressed if Western powers intend to remain influential in a multi-polar world."
"With scholarly verve and a clear analytical eye, Alexandros Petersen revisits some of the great geopolitical theorists of the past two centuries. He shows why grand strategy and geography still matter in Europe and Eurasia and argues convincingly that the political tectonics of this part of the world continue to shape foreign policymaking. The World Island will be of interest to anyone who cares about the peoples and fractured polities of the former Soviet space."
"Recalling--and analyzing--the ideas of such great geopolitical thinkers as Mackinder, Mahan and Kennan, Alex Petersen demonstrates that current developments in Central Asia will have strategic consequences for global order. It is a controversial, but extremely well-argued, conclusion."
"With this book, Alex Petersen has firmly established himself as a leading scholar of Eurasia. While one can disagree with his conclusions, one cannot but agree that the rare combination of deep historical understanding, fluency in contemporary regional dynamics, and sharp policy analysis on display in The World Island make it a must-read."
"In his riveting review of grandmasters from Mackinder and Mahan to Kennan, and by analyzing the Eurasian chessboard from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific, Alexandros Petersen has crafted a formidable case for why the United States and its allies must study and practice the fine art of Eurasian geopolitics."