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GEO2047 : Political Geography

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Nick Megoran
  • Lecturer: Dr Craig Jones, Dr Matt Benwell
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This course aims to give students a thorough grounding in the concepts, practices and disciplinary traditions of political geography. In doing so, students will be equipped with the skills to critically analyse the spatialities of political life from local to global scales.

Outline Of Syllabus


Introduction: visions of political geography

Part I: Space and sovereignty
Sovereignty and territory I: making states
Sovereignty and territory II: unmaking states
Indigenous sovereignties
Proto-states, quasi-states and 'non-places'
International boundaries I: making boundaries
International Boundaries II: Trumped! politics and identity

Part II: Geopolitics, classical and critical
Geopolitics, classical and critical: was Sir Halford Mackinder right
Cold War
Popular geopolitics
Geopolitics of the War on Terror I&II
Resource geopolitics
Dividing up the world: geopolitics of regions
Geopolitics, Donald Trump, and peace

Part III: State and citizenship
Geographies of citizenship
Nationalism I&II
Young people, geopolitical agency and participation
Citizen diplomacy and statecraft
The nonviolent revolution

1 x practical/seminar on making public interventions: letters-to-editors workshop (assessed essay resulting from this)

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture212:0042:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical21:002:00Assessment 1 introduction session (1hr) Doing a Political Geography Dissertation (1hr)
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1156:00156:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship


Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A60Take home exam
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report1M40‘Political Geography in the Media’ essay - 2,000 word
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Exam – will assess knowledge and understanding of political geographic concepts and ability to summarize, assess, explain and evaluate different theories and arguments.

Essay – ‘Political Geography in the Media’ – will assess knowledge and understanding of political geographic concepts and application, and ability to summarise, assess, explain and evaluate different theories and arguments. Twinned to this, students are asked to use this knowledge to interpret and analyses contemporary news stories.

Reading Lists