The New Cold War and the return of (affective) geopolitics

Authors: Paul Reuber*, Muenster University, Department of Geography, Christoph Creutziger*, University of Münster - Department of Geography
Topics: Political Geography, Cultural Geography
Keywords: Critical Geopolitics, Discourse Analysis, Political Geography, New Cold War, Emotions
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/7/2019
Start / End Time: 3:55 PM / 5:35 PM
Room: Diplomat Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

At least since the conflicts in Ukraine, geopolitical representations of a ‘New Cold War’ are experiencing a prominent revival framing international power constellations in Europe. The renaissance of old East-West antagonisms is driven by a highly emotionalized discursive setting and has serious impacts on discourses in international politics.
Against this background our paper presents findings of a discourse analysis of current geopolitical representations and Leitmotifs in the coverage of print media and social media. Starting from a critical geopolitics perspective and introducing Foucaults discourse analytical concept of ‚the archive‘, the study aims at understanding the logics and the emotional shifts/dimensions of the corresponding discursive changes since the end of the Cold War up to the present conflicts. From a theoretical perspective, the project examines how historical geopolitical representations (e.g. natural determinism, spatial determinism, imperialism, Cold War dialectics) are being reactivated as “floating signifiers” (Laclau & Mouffe 1985), changing not only their semantic meanings, but also their emotional dimensions and their underlying geographical imaginations.

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