UCL Department of Geography
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Convenor: Dr Jason Dittmer 

Unit Value: 0.5unit                            Year 2             Term  1


Brief Course Description

A lecture-based course designed to explore relationships between power and space via an engagement with political geography and geopolitics.


Course Aims

Political geography and geopolitics have been around for more than a hundred years as fields of enquiry concerned with the spatial constitution of politics, the state and international relations. They take as their starting point the complementary insights that politics and power are fundamentally spatial and that geographic space is infused with power and political potentiality. This course considers a variety of ways of thinking about political geography and geopolitics in light of a number of empirical concerns. It both explores the history and current state of political geography and geopolitics as fields of enquiry, and examines a series of issues from the vantage point of the spatiality and materiality of politics and power.


Course Content

1. Introduction (AB)
2. Spaces of Political Power (AB)
3. Neo-liberalism (AB)
4. Material Politics (AB)
5. Territory (JD)
Reading week
6. International Relations (JD)
7.   Critical Geopolitics (JD)
8.   War (AI)
9.   Peace (AI)
10. Security (AI)


Method of Teaching



Form of Assessment

100% Examination


Pre-requisites and Relationship with other courses

Students wishing to take GEOG3071: Political Geography and Geopolitics II in year three should take this course in year two.


Suggested reading

Cox, K., Low, M., and Robinson, J. eds. (2008) The SAGE Handbook of Political Geography London : SAGE.

Dodds, K. (2007) Geopolitics: A Very Short Introduction Oxford: Oxford University Press

Painter, J. and Jeffrey, A. (2009) Political Geography Thousand Oaks: SAGE