DOI: 10.1111/tran.12647 ISSN: 0020-2754

A case for popular geoeconomics: Angelina Jolie, China, and the semiotic limits of the archive

Mary Mostafanezhad, Henryk Szadziewski
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Geography, Planning and Development


Picking up where Mallin and Sidaway (2023) left off, this commentary makes a case for popular geoeconomics—as well as geoeconomics beyond the Beltway. We address the dialectical tension between geoeconomics and geopolitics as it is demonstrated through popular and geo‐dispersed renderings of the concept. Geoeconomic visionaries drive geopolitical relations not only by revaluing land, labour and resources across space but through their everyday enactments and popular expressions. We comment on how geoeconomics is enrolled into popular culture and plays out through the Hollywood icon Angelina Jolie, as well as its articulation beyond the Anglosphere in Mandarin language scholarship. The geoeconomics debate in Mandarin, as well as its mediation by celebrities, formidably contribute to the refashioning of the global geoeconomic landscape. In doing so, we expand the critical genealogy of geoeconomics as a concept, field of inquiry and everyday experience, and account for the semiotic limits of the archive.

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