Political Geography can be described as the only discipline within the political sciences that takes seriously the question of the spatial organisation of societies. It offers a critical mode of analysis that covers a wide range of themes that includes, but is not limited to, geopolitics, urban political economy, political cartography, borders studies etc. The variable which unites these vastly different fields is a recognition that an adequate understanding of politics necessarily involves a critical consideration of the forces and processes that unite space with society.
This module provides an introduction to the principle idea that there is a distinct geographical perspective with should be accounted for in the political sciences. The module should make students aware of and help analyse the political dimensions of space and the role of space in politics more generally. Themes such as borders, boundaries, scales, territoriality, territory, sovereignty, identity formation and the nation state will be central to the weekly themes.
"Geography is too important to be left to geographers." (Harvey 1984). This module will take on an historical and inter-disciplinary approach to demonstrate that the way we have come to think about space has a real impact on social realities. The module encourages students to look beyond conventional theories of International Relations and International Political Economy for examples on how space relates to politics. "There is a politics of space because space is political." (Lefebvre 1970).