GEOG 128
Geography of International Affairs

GEOG 128: Geography of International Affairs


When we think of international affairs, we often think of the United Nations, foreign wars, and world trade summits. Though the geography of international affairs is certainly comprised of these and other such elements, each of these has a historical antecedent and a theoretical frame. In order to understand the realm of international affairs in its contemporary context, it is necessary to understand how we got here. One fundamental part of this is understanding how our global political system came to be and how contemporary systems are based on past iterations. The other fundamental part is to understand the theories that shaped these developments insofar as their influence on global political systems. In this course, we will examine the global political system as it is, as it was, and as it might be in the future.

This course provides you with conceptual tools, which will enable you to not only understand, analyze, and explain international affairs/geopolitical phenomena for academic purposes, but also to enable you to use these concepts in ‘real’ life so that you develop critical skills to comprehend, and articulate your reality more comprehensively. I encourage you to think critically; think critically means to delve really deep beneath appearances, superficiality, and manifestations to understand the mechanisms, the nuts and bolts, systemic imperatives, and the hidden power structures guiding events and phenomena.

You will be introduced to the World of Geography, and demonstrate the use of spatial perspectives (like territory, resources, raw material, place-based specialized labor) in understanding and explaining global and local events.

By taking this course, students will:

  1. become familiar with the major approaches in political geography for examining territorial forms, structures, and change; and
  2. develop critical reading and analytical skills to aid in better understanding contemporary global, regional, and national debates and issues of geopolitical importance.