Kjellén, Rudolf

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kjellén, Rudolf


Born June 13, 1864, in Torsø, in the län (county) of Skaraborg; died Nov. 14, 1922, in Uppsala. Swedish political figure and sociologist.

The son of a priest, Kjellén graduated from the University of Uppsala in 1883 and received the degree of doctor of sciences in 1890. From 1891 to 1916 he taught political science at the higher school of Göteborg, where he became a professor in 1901. In 1916 he began teaching at the University of Uppsala. He was a member of the Riksdag from 1905 to 1908 and again from 1911 to 1917.

Kjellén coined the term “geopolitics” and was an early proponent of the reactionary theory of that name, which defines the state as a geographic and biological organism that naturally seeks to expand. He was an ideologist of Swedish conservatism, a chauvinist, a Germanophile, and a militarist. Kjellén was, objectively speaking, among those who inspired the ideas of the German Nazis.


Stormakterna, 3rd ed. Stockholm, 1914.
Staten som livsform. Stockholm, 1916.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.