GEOG40450 Critical Geopolitics of Europe

Academic Year 2022/2023

Critical Geopolitics
Critical geopolitics is concerned with the geographical assumptions and designations that underlie the making of world politics. The goal of critical geopolitics is to elucidate and explain how political actors spatialize international politics and represent it as a “world” characterized by particular types of places. This module explores Critical Geopolitics as an approach to understanding political geographies. It begins by examining how Critical Geopolitics has emerged in Human Geography, and the reaction and misuse of 'Geopolitical' thinking in Europe. The module will examine conceptually and analytically the nature of Critical Geopolitics. Much of the empirical context for the module will be the EU politico-economic project. Drawing upon Professor Jones' research writing on EU governance, diplomacy and European geopolitics the module examines the notions of space and place in European elite thinking, situated political practices in EU governance, and the construction and implementation of geo-political narratives by EU elites. The nature of political change in Europe is interpreted through these components.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module students should have:
1.Examined and critiqued the significance of Europe in international geopolitics;
2.Enhanced their understanding of the contested nature of 'Europe';
3.Developed critical thinking, reading and writing skills on the political geography of Europe.

Indicative Module Content:

Nature of Geopolitics
Critical Geopolitics and its Emergence
Key Critical Geopolitical writings
Examples of a critical geopolitical approach- strengths, weaknesses and refinements.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning






Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Readings ahead of each meeting. Discussion of each reading and a build-up of a Critical Geopolitical Approach. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Essay: Two essays
Each of 2000 words
1) Due Friday 29th October at 5pm
2) Due Friday 3rd December at 5pm
Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

After each essay there will be a feedback session to the group. Individual feedback can also be given if required.

Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 1 Wed 11:00 - 12:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12 Wed 11:00 - 12:50