Heartland, Organic, & Rimland

Kevin Qian

Heartland Theory

Conceived by Sir Halford Mackinder, the Heartland Theory states the whoever controls the center of Eurasia controls the world. Mackinder emphasized the territory's large amount of natural resources, its ease of transportation on land, and its natural barriers.

Rimland Theory

The Rimland Theory was thought of by Nicholas Spykman. According to him, whoever controls the coastal edge of Southwest, South, and Southeast Asia controls the word. This theory emphasizes sea power as well as the ability to dominate the Heartland of Eurasia.

Organic Theory

Created by Friedrich Ratzel, the Organic Theory suggests that a state is analogous to an organism. Like an organism, it goes through several growth stages and needs nourishment (in this case, territory). The individuals living within the state can be thought of as cells.

The stages a country goes through are its birth, its maturity phase, and its death. A mature state has a larger population, with a nation, infrastructure, and healthcare system, and requires more land in order to remain stable.

Just as organisms have organ systems to carry out functions, states also have internal organizations that complete tasks. A state's infrastructure supplies materials in a similar fashion to our body's circulatory system, while the government can be thought of as similar to our brain by dictating the actions of the state.

As in a complex organism, the loss of the productivity of a few cells does not harm the being significantly, but should an entire tissue or organ group be rendered inoperable, the organism as a whole can be expected to fail.

Compare and Contrast

The Heartland and Rimland theory are comparable, in that both claim that control of certain territory will allow the ruling state to dominate over the rest of the world. However, the Heartland theory says the territory in question is the Central-Northern Eurasian land, based on its natural resources and ease of transportation across. The Rimland theory favors the coastal area bordering the heartland, given that it allows greater sea power and surrounds the Heartland.

The Organic Theory does not postulate that a certain piece of land, if occupied, would allow its holder to control the world. It rather tries to explain how states run, and compares them to living things.