Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2018, Vol. 73 ›› Issue (12): 2269-2281.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201812001

• Political Geography and Global Maritime Transport Research •     Next Articles

The outline and genealogy of Chinese pilitical geography

LIU Yungang1(),AN Ning2,WANG Fenglong3,4()   

  1. 1. School of Geography, Southern China Normal University,Guangzhou 510631, China
    2. Centre for Human Geography and Urban Development, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510006, China
    3. The Center for Modern Chinese City Studies, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
    4. Institute of Urban Development, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
  • Received:2017-10-12 Online:2018-12-14 Published:2018-12-14
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41571130, No.41271165, No.41601144, No.41701149


This paper outlines the development trajectory and genealogical features of political geography in contemporary China. It first maps the development of political geography in Western academia and summarizes the genealogical characteristics of Western political geography. Taking the Western political geography as a baseline, it then discusses the establishment and development of political geography in contemporary China and divides this process into three stages since the founding of new China: the germination period, the stagnant period, and the revival period. Based on the work of extant (typical) scholars, related studies and relevant genealogical developments in each stage, this paper explores the main genealogical characteristics of political geography in China. Five major branches are extracted, which are respectively represented by Zhang Qiyun, Bao Juemin, Li Xudan, Zhang Wenkui and Wang Enyong. On this basis, this paper studies the similarity and difference between Chinese and Western political geography by focusing on their developing trajectories and features. This paper argues that: the development of political geography in China has been long influenced by the exogenous theories and notions and for this reason there is an apparent binary division between exogenous and endogenous political geography theories in China; the methodology, concepts and systems of this sub-discipline are still insufficient, and establishment of a unified academic community and the construction of subject knowledge system is therefore urgently needed. Finally, this paper proposes an agenda for future Chinese political geographical studies and calls for a more balanced and locally rooted Chinese political geography.

Key words: political geography, academic genealogy, exogenous, endogenous, China