262S11+_22A+New+Russian+Heartland_22+-+Treivish

262S11+_22A+New+Russian+Heartland_22+-+Treivish - A New...

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123 Eurasian Geography and Economics , 2005, 46 , No. 2, pp. 123-155. Copyright © 2005 by V. H. Winston & Son, Inc. All rights reserved. A New Russian Heartland: The Demographic and Economic Dimension Andrei Treivish 1 Abstract: One of Russia’s leading geographers provides a detailed assessment of the demo- graphic and economic dimensions of the new Russian Heartland, supplementing and extend- ing the analysis provided in the preceding paper in this issue (Bradshaw and Prendergrast, 2005). He presents intriguing comparisons of Russia’s place in the world relative to other global powers for benchmark years during the 20th and early 21st centuries, before examin- ing spatial shifts in key indicators of Russia’s population distribution and economic activity over the same period. Subsequent sections of the paper address Russia’s shrinking “effective territory” during the 1990s, and by extension the “overpopulation” of its northern regions. Journal of Economic Literature , Classification Numbers: F02, O10, O57. 16 figures, 8 tables, 79 references. Key words: Russian Heartland, effective territory, regional change, per capita temperature, depopulation. INTRODUCTION ome one hundred years ago Sir Halford Mackinder (1904) anticipated the geopolitical environment that prevailed in the mid-20th century. He foresaw the conflict over the World Island and the eventual consolidation of the heartland, creating Eurasia’s “red belt” (from the Elbe to the Mekong Delta) surrounded by opposing alliances in the rimlands. 2 Later David Hooson (1964) provided a geoeconomic analysis of the Soviet industrial shift eastward. Hooson’s judgement concerning the industrial extension to the east and the rein- forcement of the heartland also has been confirmed by history, even though his analysis pre-dated the opening of the Tyumen’ oil fields in West Siberia. Writing just before the Russian revolution, a contemporary of Mackinder’s, Benyamin Semenov-Tyan’-Shanskiy (1915) distinguished three forms of empire: circular (the Roman Empire), “patchy” (the British Empire, or other overseas colonization), and compact “from sea to sea” (the United States and Russia). For much of the subsequent Soviet era, however, further Russian work on geopolitics was dismissed by those controlling the heartland as aggressively imperialist and reactionary pseudo-science. 3 However, if the phantom of Mackinder still roams the political corridors of Washington, the phantom of Genghis Khan 1 Leading Researcher, Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences, 29 Sytaromonetnyy pereulok, 109017 Moscow, Russia. 2 The term “rimland” was used originally by Nikolas Spykman (1944) to denote states that surrounded the heartland. 3 Throughout the Soviet period, geopolitical thinking was developed by Soviet émigrés known as Eurasianists , whose works were published in their homeland some 70 years later (Savitskiy, 1997). The research presented in this article was funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council, award number: RES-223-25-0039.
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262S11+_22A+New+Russian+Heartland_22+-+Treivish - A New...

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