The political and economic upheavals during the past two decades have led to a new social and political organization of space on all levels of scale. To deal with the obvious changes, political geography had to rethink and to extend its traditional concepts. Transcending its long taken-for-granted radical approaches, the Anglo-American geography developed two conceptional paths, both of which are still relevant for political geography today:
— a new awareness of regional differences in political action and culture
— a new, constructionist awareness of the instrumentalization of geographical discourses for geopolitical purposes.
With these theoretical concepts, political geography is examining a number of both traditional and new fields of research. Their heterogeneity is once again evidence of postmodern diversity and difference. They are characterized by both a new awareness of differentiation and a widening of the traditional viewpoint in three closely related respects transcending the traditional topics of political activity, the traditional political actors and the established levels of scale of politics. Based on the current literature it is possible to outline some major themes and perspectives of current political geography that are closely linked together, like knots in thematic networks:
1. ecological politics and resource conflicts
2. territorial conflicts and boundaries
3. geopolitics and the politics of identity
4. globalization and new international relations
5. the symbolic representation of political power
6. regional conflicts and new social movements.