GEOG 128
Geography of International Affairs

Geopolitical Globalization: A New Meta-Geography

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Required Reading

Please begin by reading Chapter 6 of Flint, C. (2012). Introduction to geopolitics (2nd ed.). London: Routledge.

(T)he geopolitics of the world is one in which the construction of territorial entities, such as states, has always occurred in conjunction with the construction of networks to enable flows across the globe. The construction of networks and maintaining flows within them is no less a form of geopolitics than the construction of states and the practices of their geopolitical codes. - Flint, 2012, p. 159

Meta-geography: the “spatial structures through which people order their knowledge of the world” (Lewis and Wigen, 1997, p. ix; Beaverstock et al., 2000; quoted in Flint, 2012, p. 161). For example, Flint notes that Anglo-American geography has impacted modern geopolitics with its dominant framework that sees the world as a mosaic of nation-states. Thus, the unit of analysis, where power is purported to reside, is within the established nation-state.

However, contemporary globalization and the transnational networks and flows of goods, money and people across boundaries, create new and important non-state actors (i.e., banks, businesses and groups of refugees). As such, power is not merely about controlling territory. It is also embedded in a geopolitics of controlling movement (of people, commodities, etc.) and creating networks of opportunity or advantage across political boundaries.

As Flint identifies, “Networks are inherently neither good or bad: they are political constructs used for political ends” (2012, p. 163). And so, we turn our attention to two of the many forms in which networks can exist in our contemporary worlds: 1)Transnational Social Movements, and 2) Terrorism.