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GEOG 2017

Geopolitics and Political Geography

  • Credits: 3
  • Level: Undergraduate, Year 2
  • Semester: 2
  • Status: Elective course for BSc Geography and BSc/BA major (Geography).
  • Pre-requisites: GEOG 1901; or GEOG 1131, GEOG 1132, or HOD permission (from 2013/14).
  • Course coordinator: Dr. Levi Gahman

Course coverage

Theories of Geopolitics and Political Geography, Colonial and Neocolonial domination practices, Geopolitics of Natural Resources, Regional Geopolitics and Political Geography.

Significance/Rationale

Level II Geopolitics and Political Geography provides students with key ideas, theories and analyses of domination (actors, processes, issues) at both global and local scales. The course builds on concepts introduced in first year Human Geography (GEOG1131, GEOG1132) and introduces concepts required in Year III Caribbean Geographies (GEOG 3102). The UWI Geography degree allows for the progressive intellectual development of students through Levels I to III, so this course is designed to prepare students for professional life as well as graduate studies.The course contributes to the preparation of UWI geography graduates for the 21st century, by exposure to critical thinking, effective communications and self-motivated learning.

Course description

This course focuses on the power relations occurring across-and-within differing spaces, states, places, regions, and geographies. It investigates how political processes shape the world, as well as who gets to control land, resources, and populations. The readings shed light on how differing countries engage and interact with each other, as well as how they administer exclusion and inclusion. The course will also examine the key themes, concepts, and theories that define the study of politics from a geographical perspective. Students can expect to gain a critical understanding of the historical and contemporary alliances and agreements, as well as tensions and conflicts, of differing nation-states, with specific emphasis placed on sovereignty, territoriality, governmentality, hegemony, borders, nationalism, citizenship, violence, genocide, colonialism, and war. Moreover, the course will focuses on strategic and political implications of ongoing trends in global political and economic arenas with respect to struggles over commodities, natural resources, and territories, as well as claims to legitimacy regarding authority, worldview, and cultural values. A situated focus on the Caribbean will be established from the outset, with global case studies used to illustrate differing themes.

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