This week had some pretty heavy concepts, but I think they are really important as tools for critical analysis. I imagine some of you are wondering what geopolitics has to do with geospatial intelligence. First, it is one of my academic specialties. Second, it gives us a topic on which to practice our critical analysis skills. This week we covered:
- Politics as Social Practice
- Thinking Critically About Geopolitics
- Geopolitics and Discourse
- Imperialist Geopolitics
- Cold War Geopolitics
- Twenty First Century Geopolitics
One of the really important things I got from the readings this week is the necessity to ask questions about the background, associations, and agendas of authors and the venue in which they publish. Is the author a neoconservative working for a well-funded think tank charged with expounding a particular discourse and agenda? Or is the author a liberal academic "dissident intellectual" who is the major practitioner of a particular geopolitical approach with a need to publish and sell new textbooks? These factors do not invalidate the work of authors (nobody works for free), but knowing the background allows for greater critical analysis.
Your last challenge this week is to take Lesson 02 - GRADED Quiz (#1) on this week's readings. The quiz consists of 25 questions worth two points each. Take all the time you want and feel free to use your book. I think you will find my quizzes are tough. To do well you must study the readings, but you must also think for yourself. If you get an answer wrong and want to argue the point, I may give you the point if you can show me your thinking is factually correct and logically consistent.
Deliverable: Lesson 02 - GRADED Quiz (#1)
Return to Lesson 02 in Canvas. Look for the Lesson 02 - GRADED Quiz (#1), where you will find the twenty-five question quiz on this weeks readings. Take all the time you want and feel free to use your book.
Remember, you need to complete all of the Mini Quizzes in parts 5 through 9 of the lesson with a score of 100%. Scoring 100% on the quizzes will automatically unlock the Lesson 02 - GRADED Quiz (#1) for you.
Before you move on to Lesson 03, double-check the Lesson 02 Checklist to make sure you have completed all of the required activities for this lesson.
Next week is another heavy reading week, but it will be less conceptual and more applied. You also get to write your first 1000 word reflection paper for me (about four pages max). The lesson will include instructions on how to successfully write for graduate level work. In our next lesson we are going to consider:
- The opposing ideas of Huntington's "The Clash of Civilization" and Said's "The Clash of Ignorance" (and Said's other orientalist thinking) in the context of the "Long War" (aka the Global War on Terrorism).
- New threats such as bioterrorism and environmental degradation and the geopolitical discourses that arise in reaction.
- The range of ideas included under the rubric of "Anti-Geopolitics."
- Anti-geopolitical discourse as it applies to the "Long War" (formerly GWOT).