Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 10 x 2hr lectures


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 2 Hours   100%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Describe the forces shaping and defining political identities and dynamics in a variety of different global settings.

Critically evaluate the role of place in political, geopolitical and development-related issues at different scales of analysis.

Illustrate and explain how different representations and measurement schemes shape understandings of political, geopolitical and development processes.

Brief description

The first section of the module will focus upon the understanding of basic concepts such as place, discourse, state, sovereignty, territory, national identity, democracy, citizenship, security, geopolitical strategy, development, uneven development, core-periphery relations, geoeconomics, and development indicators. The overarching purpose of this section will be to show not only how political geography has been understood but also how its basic categories themselves, and the 'geographical imaginations' they anchor, have been contested through history and in different geographical contexts. Students are thereby equipped to think with, but also to think critically about, political understandings of the world.

Section two introduces a series of case studies showing how the dynamics and divisions of global political geography shape human experiences of particular places, and how places have in turn been key to the construction of political geographic understandings of national identity, geopolitical struggles and varying experiences of development and underdevelopment. Examples are taken from Europe, North America and the Caribbean. The focus here remains partly historical, in order to help explain the emergence of some of the key political and geopolitical actors and arrangements inherited by the 21st century from the 19th and 20th centuries, but it also begins to link to present-day issues.

Section three focuses more centrally upon current issues in global political geography and development, introducing students to recent or ongoing debates that demonstrate the interconnections between the themes and dynamics introduced earlier. Here the importance of contestations in public space and the central role of discourse come to the fore, as students engage with unfolding struggles over what events and trends mean, before any sort of consensus has been reached on their significance. Media literacy is foregrounded here to help equip students more systematically for the exercise of responsible adult citizenship.


PART ONE - Coordinates of Global Political Geography
1. Introduction: Global Political Geographies
2. State, National Identity, Place and Territory
3. Imagining Geopolitical Order
4. Development and Underdevelopment - An Overview

PART TWO - Political Geography, Development and Place
5. National Identity and the American Frontier Myth
6. Berlin: Geopolitical Capital of the 20th Century
7. Geopolitics and Development in the Caribbean

PART THREE - Global Political Geographies in the Making
8. Debating Post-Cold-War Environmental Security
9. The South in the North: Indigenous Human Rights in the US
10. Neoliberalism, Warfare and Protest in the 21st Century

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Some critical discussion of the politics of statistical measures (for example the most appropriate way to measure 'development') will be included.
Communication The module will develop the students' skills of written communication in completing their written examination. In addition, students will develop their oral communication skills through team-working and class exercises.
Improving own Learning and Performance Student attendance and participation in the lectures will help them to enhance a range of learning skills. The module also requires students to undertake extensive self-directed study.
Information Technology Students will be required to undertake research for the module using bibliographic search-engines and library catalogues.
Personal Development and Career planning The module will help students to develop a range of transferable skills including time management, self-discipline, research planning and team-working in class exercises.
Problem solving The module will develop students' problem-solving skills in a number of ways. Students will be required to analyse a range of sources and texts in class exercises and as part of their independent research, and they will be required to complete small problem-solving exercises during the lectures.
Research skills Students are expected to research and synthesize a range of academic source material in preparing for classes and for their written examination.
Subject Specific Skills The module will enable students to develop and practice subject-specific skills which they have developed in semester one in modules such as 'Key skills in geography'.
Team work The lectures may include class-based problem-solving exercises and discussions which will provide opportunities for students to develop team-working skills and discuss their thoughts with the class.


This module is at CQFW Level 4