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Course Description
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Political Science: Geopolitics and International Relations
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)
Barcelona, Spain

Subject Area(s) Level(s) Instruction in Credits Contact Hours Prerequisites
Geography, Political Science, International Relations 300 English 3 45 Previous course in international geography preferred.


Geopolitics is the art and practice of using political power over a given territory. Traditionally, the term has applied primarily to the impact of geography on politics, but its usage has evolved over the past century to encompass a wider connotation. In academic circles, the study of Geopolitics involves the analysis of geography, history and social science with reference to spatial politics and patterns at various scales (ranging from the level of the state to international). The term was coined by Rudolf Kjellén, a Swedish political scientist, at the beginning of the 20th century. Kjellén was inspired by the German geographer Friedrich Ratzel, who published his book Politische Geographie (political geography) in 1897, popularised in English by American diplomat Robert Strausz-Hupé, a faculty member of the University of Pennsylvania. Halford Mackinder greatly pioneered the field also, though he did not coin the term of geopolitics.


At the end of the program the student will be able to learn what are the most important dynamics in International Relations and what are going to be the consequences in business and economics at country level.


International geography.


Part A. Geopolitics: The past and the present.

1 Introduction
2 Survey of Geopolitcs
3 Geopolitical structure and Theory.
4 The Cold War and its aftermath
5 North and Middle America
6 South America
7 Maritime Europe and The Magreb
8 Russia and the Euroasian Convergence Zone
9 The East Asia Geostrategic Realm
10 The Asia Pacific Rim.
11 South Asia
12 The Middle East Shatterbelt
13 The Sub-Saharan African Shatterbelt
14 The future century in Geopolitics

Part B: Geopolitics: The future

1 The Dawn of the American Age.
2 Earthquake: The US –Jihadist War
3 Population, Computers and Culture Wars
4 The New Fault Lines.
5 China 2020: Paper Tiger
6 Russia 2020; Rematch
7 American Power and the crisis of 2030
8 A new world emerges
9 The 2040: Prelude of war.
10 Preparing for war.
11 World war: A scenario.
12 The 2020: A Golden Decade.
13 The USA, Mexico and the struggle for the Global Heartland


Theory and comments in class debating different points of view.


Mid term exam: 40% Final exam: 40% Class participation: 20%


• Geopolitics. The Geography of International Relations. Saul Bernard Cohen. 2nd Edition. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc. 2009
• The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century by George Friedman (Jan 27, 2009).
• Readings at The Economist

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