UCL Department of Geography
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Convenor: 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
The aim of the course is to give students a critical introduction to political geography and geopolitics. It will provide an important part of students’ thematic grounding in human geography and will serve as a background course for a number of third-year courses.

Course Content
Module one (JR): Power and space The concerns of political geography and geopolitics can be framed in the intersection between theorisations of power and the spatiality of social life. The first module of the course introduces debates in the conceptualistion of power as they relate to some specific spatialities, including territories, networks, landscapes and bodies.

Module two (JD): States, nationalism and geopolitics Module two focuses more specifically on the traditional subject matter of political geography and geopolitics - the geographical nature and dynamics of states, the state system, nationalism and global politics – and considers how different theoretical perspectives frame and seek to explain them.

Module three (JM): Border and migration This module of the course focuses on migration, a topical issue which has been the subject of much debate within political geography.  It will cover topics such as : introduction to the politics of migration, bringing the state back in to migration studies; asylum and the politics of protection; irregular migration, smuggling and trafficking; securitization, detention and deportation.

Method of Teaching

Form of Assessment
100% Examination

Pre-requisites and Relationship with other courses
It is recommended that students wishing to take GEOG3049: Geographies of Security or GEOG3059 Popular Culture and Geopolitics in year three 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
Flint, C. and Taylor, P. (2007) Political Geography: World-economy, Nation-state, and Locality (5th ed.). Prentice Hall: Upper Saddle River, NJ.