Where geopolitics and foreign policy analysis once met: the work of Harold and Margaret Sprout and its continued relevance today
Faculty of Social Sciences. Political Sciences
S.l. :International Studies Association: http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p_mla_apa_research_citation/3/1/2/5/6/p312564_index.html, 2009
ISA's 50th Annual Convention "Exploring the Past, Anticipating the Future", Panel Quantitative and Experimental Modeling of Foreign Policy Processes, New York City, N.Y. (USA), 15-18 February 2009 / International Studies Association
University of Antwerp
The relation between territoriality and foreign/international politics has always interested students of both Geopolitics and Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA). These fields of study are much more interrelated than traditionally is acknowledged. In this paper, we study the important work of Harold and Margaret Sprout, who played a key role in introducing their insights on geopolitics into what later would become known as foreign policy analysis. First, we will try to gain a better insight into the ideas of the Sprouts. What did their suggested ecological triad entail? What are the consequences of the distinction between the operational and the psychological milieu for the study of foreign policy? How is cognitive behavioralism related to other possible epistemological appreciations regarding the relationship between territoriality and foreign policy? What does the distinction between foreign policy analyses and capacity analyses mean? Second, we will identify three ways in which Harold and Margaret Sprout influenced IR and FPA. Third, we will reconstruct the ontological, epistemological and methodological assumptions and traits of Cognitive Geopolitics. Finally, we will formulate some critiques on Cognitive Geopolitics, while at the same time developing some ideas on the continued relevance today of the work of Harold and Margaret Sprout.