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POL8044 : Critical Geopolitics

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Mori Ram
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


1.       To analyse and examine the concepts of critical geopolitics
2.       To analyse and examine the theories and debates that surround these concepts
3.       To acquaint students with the most important literature on these subjects
4.       To locate this literature in its appropriate historical context
5.       To develop students' ability to think cogently, rigorously and critically about the political causes, consequences and discourse of contemporary geopolitics

This module introduces students to how to think and analyse the spatial dimensions of politics. It explores the interdisciplinary nature of contemporary geopolitical thought. The myriad connections amongst identity, culture, security and space are running themes throughout the module topics.

Outline Of Syllabus

Topics vary year on year. In recent years, topics covered have included:

Critical methodologies and geopolitics
Space in geopolitical thought
Orthodox geopolitics
Sovereignty and territory
Borders and biopolitics
Vertical geopolitics
Popular geopolitics
Climate change and the environment
Planetary and outer space in geopolitical thought
War on Terror
Global war on Drugs
Infrastructure and geopolitics

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching112:0022:00PiP seminar session
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1178:00178:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

A seminar format will be used so that students can
•       give their own presentations on aspects of each major subject heading
•       engage in critical discussion which is an essential part of this discipline
•       receive instruction, guidance, advice, and help in identifying issues and critical questions from the seminar leader.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Research paper1M803250 word research paper
Research paper1M20750 word article review
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

This mode of assessment will test students’ ability
•       to address a major question in the area of geopolitics and critical geopolitics
•       to draw upon and to engage critically with the relevant literature
•       to show analytical rigour in their use of concepts and their examination of theories and arguments

Reading Lists