GEOG 128
Geography of International Affairs



We will build on the previous chapter’s focus on understanding the practices of states and non-state agents by using the concept of geopolitical codes. This chapter will extend our conversation by exploring the way that a country’s decisions and actions are justified. Through an analysis of popular culture, we find that our exposure to and participation in the geopolitics is pervasive. We will see that geopolitical representations are fluid and dynamic—adapting to the quickly changing contexts.

Lesson Objectives

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

  • describe the cultural aspect of geopolitical codes;
  • describe the ways in which geopolitical codes are justified;
  • identify the linkage between popular culture and foreign policy;
  • define the concept of Orientalism;
  • discuss how popular culture helped the public interpret the content of NSC-68;
  • discuss how the administration of President George W. Bush represented its War on Terror;
  • discuss how Saddam Hussein used a combination of Arab nationalism and Muslim belief to justify his 1990 invasion of Kuwait; and
  • map the changing geography of US foreign policy representations in the State of the Union speeches.

Required Readings and Assignments

Please see your Canvas course space for a complete listing of this lesson's required readings, assignments, 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.