Critical Geopolitics - GEOG6001

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 6 15 (7.5) Jonathan Rock checkmark-circle


Since the 1990s a more critical strand of thinking about the interactions between political spaces (nations, regions), power, and international relations has emerged in political geography, that of critical geopolitics. It is often associated with the writings of Gerard Ó Tuathail. John Agnew, Simon Dalby and Klaus Dodds among others. This module examines the emergence of critical geopolitics and the core concepts of contested ideas, the social construction of both knowledges and

political/spatial entities such as modern nation states and their specific political geographies. It also considers the wider applications of geopolitical concepts in a range of settings and circumstances.


Contact hours

Contact Hours: 22

Private Study Hours: 128

Total Hours: 150


BSc Human Geography (compulsory)

BA Social Anthropology (optional)

BSc Wildlife Conservation (optional)

BA Environmental Social Sciences (optional)

Also available as an elective module

Method of assessment

Essay: 2,000 words (30%)
Presentation: (10%)
Exam: (2 hours – 60%)

Reassessment Method:

*Exams will be online*

Indicative reading

Agnew, J. (2004) (2nd edition) Geopolitics. Routledge, London.

Dodds, K. (2014) (2nd edition) Geopolitics: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Flint, C. (2011) Introduction to Geopolitics. Routledge, London.

O Tuathail, G. (1996) Critical Geopolitics. Routledge, London.

Plus selected articles from leading international academic journals such as Antipode; Political Geography; Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers; Review of International Political Economy; New Political Economy; Environment and Planning D: Society and Space; Progress in Human Geography

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

8.1 Demonstrate critical understanding of the main concepts of the emerging field of critical geopolitics within the broader context of modern political geography.

8.2 Demonstrate critical understanding of the institutional basis of geopolitical power and its many diverse expressions across a range of spatial scales

8.3 Critically evaluate the main body of work of leading theorists of critical geopolitics such as Gerard Ó Tuathail. John Agnew, Simon Dalby and Klaus Dodds among others.

8.4 Utilise the main conceptual insights from critical geopolitics to analyse a number of real world case studies as applied to different regions and nation states.


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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