After the new form of analysis appeared, which can be called geo-economics, it was noted that many experts of international relations agreed with Edward Luttwak’s thesis that, in the New Age after the Cold War, economic and financial tools are the most important ones. To approve this thesis, the examples of multinational corporations, major international banks, stock exchanges and various speculative products that could easily destroy nation states, or at least, make them vulnerable, were presented.
One of the modern researchers, Klaus Solberg Soilen, believes that geo-economics is the study of spatial, cultural and strategic aspects of resources, in order to obtain a sustainable competitive advantage. It is the continuation of the logic of geopolitics, applied to the era of globalization.[i]
He also offers a new term that replaces the Heartland and the Rimland – the Nareland (reduction from English “Natural Resource Lands”). This new logic of dividing geographic places determines the shift from geopolitics to geo-economics. The author validates this thesis with the example of the US’ presence in the Middle East, where there are hydrocarbon reserves, as well as China's interests in the agricultural and the oil sectors of the African countries[ii].
You can also note that geo-economics often doesn’t take cultural factors into account. While national states often base their behaviour on strategic culture, which also implies the division into “we” and “they”, and multinational companies successfully manipulate cultural differences, the geo-economic imperatives connects rather to faceless business strategies.
Obviously, in this case, geo-economics appeared from the Atlanticist geopolitical paradigm of Sea Power, while the direction of Land Power domination has to use the same mechanisms, or look for new ways. Usually, the Land Power’s activity is associated with nationalization processes. But such an approach does not give the full image, as such reforms connected with international relations, one way or another, which are put into the neoliberal world structure, are controlled by supranational bodies such as the UN, the IMF, the WTO, the World Bank and others. It seems that it lacks a certain element. If we consider the economically closed countries (North Korea is the best example), we can see that the organization of the national economy is possible in complete isolation from geo-economics as a branch of Anglo-Saxon geopolitics. In other words, there is still one segment: geo-economy. As in English there are different meanings for the terms “politics” and “policy”, the terms “economics” and “economy” will have different meanings when translated into other languages. Economics isn’t a natural construct (not a natural science, as was proved by the Nobel Prize author whose ideas were firmly rejected by the course of history, in particular, the global financial crisis) and the economy; in fact the national economy should be divided in the context of geographical and geopolitical schools.
The possibility of this division was expressed earlier, in particularly, in the work of two Slovak scientists,Vladimira Repasova and Denisa Ciderova, from the University of Economics in Bratislava, who introduced the term “geo-heterogeneity” to fix the geo-categories such as geo-civilization, geohistory, geoculture, geopolitics and geo-ecomomy[iii].
The geo-economy may be the link between geopolitics and geo-economics, if they are considered from the perspective of the variables shown in the table. Anyway, this approach seems fruitful, if we exceed the limits of the scientific and political slang and model projects of sustainable political systems, based on sovereignty and national interests. This may be a return to the “concert of powers”, the world order that existed before the beginning of WW2, and now is regarded as the most convenient and favorable balance of the forces (if we talk about the order in Europe, and not the colonial ambitions and their consequences). It can also overcome the economic one-sidedness in the development of the Customs Union and the Eurasian Economic Community, as it appeals to the geo-economy that will affect the original aspects of the national culture, business ethics and appropriate attitudes to natural resources and space.
[i] Klaus Solberg Soilen. Geoeconomics, Bookboon, 2012.Р. 8
[ii] Klaus Solberg Soilen. Geoeconomics, Bookboon, 2012.Р. 56
[iii] DenisaCiderova, VladimiraRepasova. GEO-HETEROGENEITY IN THE CONTEXT OF THE EU.// European Scientific Journal September 2013 edition vol.9, No.25. Р. 4.