ESPO1164 - Geopolitics
Teaching assistant :
Mode of delivery :
Face-to-face , second term, 30 hours of theory.
Monday from 13:30 to 15:30 at Ommegang Om10
Language of instruction :
Learning outcomes :
Upon completion of the course, students should:
Have a basic factual knowledge and understanding of World History (1914-)
Understand the chronology and impact of specific historical events and evolutions and how they relate to one another
Have a basic knowledge of the most important and relevant historical personalities
Understand, interpret and contextualize current events around the world
Be able to apply an historical analysis and synthesis to overcome the basic analyses made by traditional or online media.
Course contents :
Many different perspectives and approaches can contribute to our understanding of the main events and evolutions that have marked the twentieth and twenty-first Century. This introductory course relies on a pragmatic approach, combining a geopolitical and historical perspective. Based on “World Orders”, we try to make sense of the forces and dynamics that produced certain events during the last several decades. This perspective also allows us to understand events at the global scale like, for example, the nuclear and conventional arms proliferation and the division of the world into two separate camps. Yet, it also allows us to understand regional evolutions, like the development of the European project as an alternative to the bipolar logic, or the proliferation of alleged ideological conflicts around the world. Hence, the geopolitical and historical perspectives provide us with a useful framework that help us how to interpret specific events and evolutions around the world.
This introductory course, thus, provides an overview of the key historical and political events and evolutions that shaped the Twentieth Century. The course begins by briefly detailing the events leading up to the Second World War, as well as those that laid the grounds for the post-WWII period and the emergence of a bipolar world. Particular attention will be paid to the Cold War period, as well as to the ‘post-Cold War' and ‘post- 9/11' periods.
Topically, this course focuses on evolutions around the globe, including the decolonization of Asia and Africa, the rise of global governance, and the emergence of the European Union. Particular attention is paid to the interaction between the global, regional and local levels, and specifically how the World Order defined the course of specific events.
Part 1: General introduction and introduction to Geopolitics
Part 2: The Origins and Development of the Cold War, 1945-53
Part 3: Cold War: Crises and changes, 1953-63
Part 4: The Cold War of Peaceful Coexistence and the Rise of Multipolarity, 1963-71
Part 5: The Détente Era, 1972-80
Part 6: From Confrontation to Communist Collapse, 1981-9
Part 7: The Post-Cold War World, 1990-2000
Part 8: The Age of Terror, 2001-12
Part 9: The World Today
Planned learning activities and teaching methods :
The course consists of ex-cathedra presentations and seminars on selected issues.
Presentation material (slides) will be made available. Personal notes taken during the lectures are required and individual reading of the reference book is strongly recommended. Detailed notes will also be made available but do not constitute an exhaustive syllabus.
Assessment methods and criteria :
A written examination divided into three parts:
1st part: multiple choice questions on facts, dates, events, personalities, ...
2nd part: short, specific, factual questions.
3rd part: a broad; transversal, question on a topic or a series of events developed during the lecture.
Recommended or required reading :
Young, J. W., & Kent, J. (2013). International Relations Since 1945 (Second Edition). Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press.
Cohen, S. B. (2008). Geopolitics: The Geography of International Relations (Second Edition edition). Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
Other information :
Face-to-face, second term, 30 hours of theory.