The formal academic history of geopolitics from the early twentieth century onwards is one characterised by a number of trends; a belief in the material significance of geographical and even geophysical factors in shaping world politics; a conviction that state power was intimately linked to demography; a social Darwinist belief that states were in perpetual competition with one another for resources and territory; and, finally, a predilection for visual objects, such as the map and globe, which would function as accomplices to state-sanctioned imperial imaginaries. To think and practise geopolitics was for many scholars and practitioners a shorthand term for statecraft and power politics (Ó Tuathail 1996).