GEOG 128
Geography of International Affairs



Two important overarching ideas will be conveyed in this lesson:

  1. Contestation: places, regions, and territories are always contested. The very nature of their socially constructed existence is based upon political frameworks that determine who belongs (or is included) and who does not belong (or is excluded) from a particular place.
  2. Context: simply put, context matters. Political events occur in a particular location with specific socio-cultural, economic, linguistic, ecological, physical, geographic, and historical settings. These factors at least partially define what happens and what possibilities for peace and resolution are available within a geopolitical context.

Lesson Objectives

By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • describe the concepts of place and scale;
  • explain the concepts of structure and agency;
  • describe places in the world as being unique and interconnected;
  • contextualize current events as occurring within a set of interconnected scales, and as being performed by geopolitical agents;
  • consider how the actions of geopolitical agents happen within structures; and
  • consider the multiple forms of power that underlie geopolitics.

Required Readings and Assignments

Lesson 1 Assignments
Assignment Directions
  • Read/watch all of the content for Lesson 1 on this website.
  • Flint, C. (2012). Introduction to geopolitics (2nd ed.). London: Routledge.
    • Prologue and Chapter 1
Introductory Geopolitical Analysis Discussion See this lesson's module in Canvas for assignment instructions and due dates.


If you have any general course questions, please post them to our Course Questions Discussion located in the General Information Module in Canvas. I will check that discussion forum regularly to respond as appropriate. While you are there, feel free to post your own responses and comments if you are able to help out a classmate.