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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Stephen J Young
SIS 375
Seattle Campus


An introduction to both political geography and geopolitics, addressing the fundamental links between power and space. Topics covered include: theories of power, space, and modernity; the formation of modern states; international geopolitics in the aftermath of the Cold War; the post-colonial nation-state; and the geopolitics of resistance. Offered: jointly with GEOG 375.

Class description

Geopolitics is the practice of separating 'our' space from 'theirs'. Cultural and economic differences can then be governed, tamed, contained or conquered by powerful states. This course will provide a critical overview of the major geopolitical ideas of the last 200 years including colonial representations of 'the Orient', Nazi propaganda maps, and the bipolar world of the Cold War. In the second half of the course, we will focus on how 'terror' has been mapped onto particular places and relate this to events on the ground. We will also explore the ties and tensions between contemporary geopolitics and neoliberal globalization.

Student learning goals

Analyze geopolitical issues as they are depicted in both foreign policy documents and popular culture around the world.

Explain how these discourses reflect particular interests and ideologies.

Understand the relationship between geopolitics and economic globalization.

General method of instruction

Seminars will involve a combination of lecture, discussion and documentaries.

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

The main forms of assessment will be a midterm exam and a term paper.

The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by Stephen J Young
Date: 12/08/2010