The Great Game

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Interest of• Brian Berletic
• George Curzon
• Sergei Glazyev
• GreatGameIndia
• Oxford Analytica

The Great Game is the late 20th century re-statement by Zbigniew Brzezinski in his book The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives, of Halford Mackinder's "Heartland theory" outlined in his 1904 paper The Geographical Pivot of History. At its most general, it is a time-honoured concept denoting the Strategic rivalry between competing Empires to dominate Central Asia.


The term(s) has its origins in the mid-nineteenth century rivalry between the Russian and British Empires and has remained valid and important as a key concept in the analysis and understanding of British, US and European foreign policies throughout the twentieth century - especially with respect to the two world wars themselves. It remains a valid characterisation of current Anglo/US/NATO efforts to achieve exactly the same goal.

Rudyard Kipling popularized the phrase and idea in his novel Kin, published from 1900-1901.[1]

Related concepts (Pages)


Related Quotations

George CurzonTurkestan, Afghanistan, Transcaspia, Persia. To many, these words breathe only a sense of utter remoteness, or a memory of strange vicissitudes or moribund romance. To me, I confess, they are pieces on a chessboard, upon which is being played out a game for the domination of the world”George Curzon1898
Samuel Huntington“The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do.”Samuel Huntington


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  1. Seymour Becker, "The ‘great game’: The history of an evocative phrase." Asian Affairs 43.1 (2012): 61-80.