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Module

GEO3102 : Geopolitics

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Matt Benwell
  • Lecturer: Professor Nick Megoran, Professor Simon Tate, Dr Craig Jones
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

Building on themes introduced in GEO247, this course aims to give students an advanced understanding of geopolitical traditions, concepts and contemporary practices. In doing so, students will be equipped with the skills to critically analyse the creation, communication and reproduction of geopolitical ideas. It introduces students to the ideas of key geopolitical thinkers as well as a number of contemporary geopolitical practices and case studies, drawn from the lecturers’ own research interests.

Outline Of Syllabus

Semester 1

[Module introduction loaded on to Canvas ahead of lectures commencing]
Lecture 1: Geopolitics: Contending Visions I (CJ)
Lecture 2: Geopolitics: Contending Visions II (CJ)
Lecture 3: Feminist Geopolitics (AW)
Lecture 4: Everyday Geopolitics (MB)

Lecture 5: Interrogating geopolitical visions (NM)
Lecture 6: Assessment semester 1 (MB and one other) (via Zoom/Mentimeter)
Lecture 7: Geopolitics of War: Killing and Injuring (CJ)
Lecture 8: Geopolitics of War II: Surviving and Caring (CJ)

Semester 2

Lecture 9: Geopolitics and Religion (NM)
Lecture 10: Geopolitics and Atheism (NM)
Lecture 11: Aerial Geopolitics (AW)
Lecture 12: Maritime Geopolitics (AW)

Lecture 13: Assessment semester 2 (MB and one other) (via Zoom/Mentimeter)
Lecture 14: Contemporary British Foreign Policy and the Anglo-American Special Relationship: UK/US (ST)
Lecture 15: Contemporary British Foreign Policy and Brexit (ST)
Lecture 16: Contemporary British Foreign Policy and The Falklands-Malvinas Question (MB)
Lecture 17: Conclusion (MB)

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials142:0028:00Pre-recorded lecture material (MB/CJ/NM/ST/AW), split into 15-20 minute sections.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1134:00134:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials122:0024:00Mostly asynchronous guided learning linked to lecture topics/blocks
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery42:008:00optional, drop-in, synchronous surgery sessions
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time11:001:00Delivered live via Zoom and Mentimeter (Zoom recorded)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time11:001:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time22:004:00Delivered live via Zoom and Mentimeter (Zoom recorded)
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The first 5 lectures introduce the key concepts and theoretical approaches in geopolitics. The remaining lectures apply these theoretical approaches to a wide range of case studies related directly to staff research interests. The synchronous and asynchronous sessions will serve to introduce/conclude the module, provide assessment preparation and advice, and extend ideas introduced in the pre-recorded lectures through a range of guided learning activities. These activities will enable students to delve more deeply into key aspects of geopolitics, developing critical analysis and group discussion skills.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M40Essay covering geopolitical theory/thinkers – 2000 words. Set in teaching week 1 (Introduction)
Oral Examination2M25Geopolitics in the news. Set in teaching week 1 (S2)
Written exercise2M35Critical reflection on Geopolitics in the news – 1000 words. Set in teaching week 1 (S2)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

This module provides students with a range of different types of assessment. In semester 1 students will choose one essay question from a list provided by module staff. These will focus on the core theories and approaches to geopolitics introduced in lectures 1-5 and extended through the accompanying synchronous and asynchronous activities. The essay assesses students’ knowledge and understanding of geopolitical concepts and their application, and tests their ability to summarise, assess, explain and evaluate different theories and arguments. In the remaining lectures of semester 1 and semester 2 students will be introduced to case studies that apply geopolitical approaches (lectures 1-5) to real world examples. The assessment in semester 2 will require students to choose a news media article and critique how it reports a particular geopolitical issue using theories and approaches that have been taught in lectures. The group presentation assesses students’ ability to work collaboratively in selecting a relevant geopolitical case study from within and/or beyond the module through which they can summarise, assess, explain and critically reflect on the coverage it has received in the media. The individually-prepared written exercise assesses students’ ability to write a reflective piece of work that extends the critique made in the group presentation. This piece of work requires students to summarise and justify their argument(s) by applying relevant literature from the geopolitical theories they choose to engage with.

Reading Lists

Timetable