Life, Earth, Colony
Friedrich Ratzel’s Necropolitical Geography
A critical exploration of Friedrich Ratzel and the relationship between colonial and fascist necropolitics
A free online version is forthcoming
Life, Earth, Colony explores the ideas, life, and historical significance of German zoologist turned geographer Friedrich Ratzel (1844–1904), famous for developing the foundations of geopolitical thought. Ratzel produced a remarkable body of work that revolutionized the study of space, movement, colonization, and war. He also served as a source of intellectual inspiration for national socialism, particularly through his Lebensraum (living space) concept, which understood all life as being caught in an eternal struggle for space. This book closely analyzes this radical conservative intellectual, focusing on his often-overlooked ethnography, biogeography, travel, and creative writing, and colonial activism as well as his more widely-known political geography.
Life, Earth, Colony finds that there is an as yet unexplored necropolitical impulse at the heart of Ratzel’s entire oeuvre, a preoccupation with death and dying, which had a profound impact on twentieth-century history.
Ian Klinke is Associate Professor in Human Geography at the University of Oxford.
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