GEOG 128
Geography of International Affairs



In this lesson, we begin to discuss geopolitical structure, or the context within which geopolitical agency takes place. While we will primarily review George Modelski’s model of cycles of world leadership, I have also included supplementary information on Immanuel Wallerstein’s world-systems theory.

Lesson Objectives

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

  • use a geopolitical model (Modelski) to explain the global geopolitical structure;
  • discuss the different components of this model;
  • analyze the validity of the model;
  • describe how the model is both similar to and different from “classic” geopolitical frameworks; and
  • explain how we can use the model to provide a structure or context to understand geopolitical agency.

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.