Geopolitics is coming back. At the end of the Cold war, Francis Fukuyama wrote a book titled The end of History. He thought that History has ended with the victory of the United States over its rival, namely the USSR. However, China and even Russia remain challengers of the US supremacy. From the Syrian civl war, to the rise of Africa, geopolitics is coming back. We think that geopolitics is multidisciplinary and we have to take many things into account to analyze it! Do you really know geopolitics ? Test your knowledge with our new YoungDiplomats quiz !
Which country is the most populated ?
The most populated country is China with less than 1.4 billion of inhabitants. Demography shapes economy, military affairs and influence. For example, France used to be a great European power because it was deemed as the « China of Europe ». In 2030 many projections state that India will replace China as the first country regarding demography.
Which country has the biggest proven oil reserve ?
According to the website the world Atlas, Venezuela has the largest amount of proven oil reserves in the world (300,878 million barrels). But is it important ? It depends on the ability of the given country to efficiently exploit its resources. Moreover, this fact can change. The best example is the United States, which has discovered a lot of oil inside its soil thanks to new drilling technic.
Which country has the most powerful army ?
To be honest, because of secret projects and armaments, no one can really know which country has the most powerful army. However, most of the contemporary analysts agree to say that the US owns the most powerful army. The defense budget reaches 610 $billion which is three times the budget of China, the main geopolitical rival of the U.S. Besides, the US army is used to fight and to get involve in conflicts, sometimes far beyond its borders. New technologies also help the US to maintain that position.
Which political man has been elected as the most powerful statesman.
The Forbes magazine stated that the most powerful statesman is Xi Jinping. Since 2012, Xi Jinping is the president of China. This information is paramount. When a chief of state is deemed as the most powerful, it shows that this man or woman has the ability to lead and to put the light of its nation. A legend is being built around one man.
In 2018 how many conflicts (more than 10 000 thousands of dead per year) are there ?
Three conflicts can be considered as « major » with more than ten thousands of dead per year (Syria, Mexico and Afghanistan). Then there are plenty of other conflicts between 1000 and 10 000 of dead per year (Yemen, Myanmar, and Lybia for instance). Conflicts shape geopolitics and are the most important form to show muscles. By analyzing each conflict, you will get a specific geopolitical equilibrium.
Which countries do owe a nuclear arsenal ?
The US, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, France, the UK and Israel have a nuclear arsenal ranging from 80 weapon (Israel) to 7000 (Russia) according to specialists. What does it mean? In terms of geopolitics and war studies, it means that if the very existence of those countries is threatened, they can reply by a massive destruction. Geopolitically, even if the use of such weapons is highly unlikely, the possess of a nuclear arsenal is a non measurable advantage.
When it comes to soft power, which country is the most influent ?
According to the website soft power 30, the first global soft power is the UK. It means that thanks to its culture, langage, art, way of life, and image, the UK exerces a good influential power. Of course, this is one survey and others may give different results. Soft power is developed by Joseph Nye, an American analyst. This concept is very important because it shows a given country can "enlighten" the whole world. Power domination can’t be reached only with force and economy.
Historical question : which empire was the largest empire in Human history ?
The Mongol empire (13th and 14th centuries) was the largest one (33 million of square kilometers). But how can a power establish its sovereignty on such a big territory ? The emperors understood that they can’t lead only with force. They decided not to impose their culture but to grant cultural autonomy to the different regions they had conquered. They established what historians will call, the Pax Mongolica.
Which country gives the most foreign aid (in percentage of gross national income)?
Sweden is the most generous country in terms of foreign aid. In 2015, 1.4 percent of Sweden’s GNI, or $7.1 billion was ODA assistance. Foreign aids are paramount because they can play a role in negotiations. For instance, the United States distributes more than $30 billion in order to have more allies. Consequently, to understand power relations, it is important to take a look at the amount of money and not the percentage.
Which country is the first global power ?
The US is definitely the first super power. Of course it’s being challenged by China. Of course, its power will likely decrease in the decades to come. But for the moment, the US is the only able to project its military forces far beyond its borders. Moreover, in terms of economy and finance, the US can influence the world economy thanks to the dollar. the US also has a strong soft power. Its culture shapes the whole world and its psyches.