The Weight of Geopolitics

Issue Date January 2015
Volume 26
Issue 1
Page Numbers 21-31
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Politics follows geopolitics, or so it has often seemed throughout history. In the later Cold War years, when the United States and Western Europe gained the advantage and ultimately triumphed over the Soviet Union, democracies proliferated and communism collapsed. Was this all just the outcome of the battle of ideas, as Francis Fukuyama and others argue, with the better idea of liberal capitalism triumphing over the worse ideas of communism and fascism? Or did liberal ideas triumph in part because of real battles and shifts that occurred less in the realm of thought than in the realm of power? History cautions against the notion that democracy will inevitably prevail.

About the Author

Robert Kagan is senior fellow with the Project on International Order and Strategy at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. His books include The World America Made (2012) and The Return of History and the End of Dreams (2008).

View all work by Robert Kagan