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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Matthew Sparke
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

We are often told we are living in an era in which territorial boundaries are being displaced by the networks and flows associated with globalization. By focusing on the geopolitics of finance, this course will explore this claim by examining how global finance is shaped by state agencies and economic imperatives, often through gendered and racialized geopolitical scripts of danger and security. We will attempt to understand the multiple ways in which American dominance is structured into many forms of global financial governance, as well as the tensions and contradictions that underpin these geopolitical attempts to control global space. We will examine the changing character of transnational institutions, the regulation of financial markets, the growth of offshore banking, and the seemingly contradictory relationship between America's 'war on terror' and neoliberal visions of a world that can be made ordered and rational through 'financialization'.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Twice weekly seminars will include class discussions, small group exercises and student facilitation.

Recommended preparation

Recommended preparation: GEOG 123

Class assignments and grading

Exam essays and term paper.

Exam and term-paper/project. Overall participation and inventive, engaging work will be rewarded.

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.
Last Update by M Jane Meyerding
Date: 02/03/2006