Introduction to Contemporary Geopolitics (Coursera)

Introduction to Contemporary Geopolitics (Coursera)
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Introduction to Contemporary Geopolitics (Coursera)
This Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) will offer the participants an introduction into contemporary geopolitics, starting from the origins of classical geopolitics and continuing the discussion with the deep analysis of the examined country-cases, including the US, Russia, and China.

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Combined with small tests, based on the video’s and recommended readings, the participants will be encouraged to dive into the complex theories and phenomena and get familiar with the concepts that are still very relevant in the contemporary world.

What You Will Learn

- Comprehend the origins of geopolitics

- Analyse the development of the geopolitics during the Cold War

- Understand the evolution of geopolitics with the implication in the contemporary world

- Examine the geopolitical cases of the US, Russia, and China



The Birth of Geopolitics

This module explores the origins of the geopolitical tradition, introducing the key traditional concepts and definitions and their relations to international relations studies. The essential formulations and theories developed by the scholarship working in these traditions will provide an overview of how different factors combine to constitute the realm of international politics.


The Beginning of the Cold War Geopolitics

This module looks at the geopolitics of the Cold War, analysing classical geopolitical concepts and locating them in the context of the bipolar confrontation. The module will explain the nature of historical circumstances, which defined the US-Soviet relations during the second part of the 20th century, and then apply classical geopolitical concepts to analyse the essence of the Cold War political order. It is expected that the module will encourage students to closely examine both the historical and geopolitical context of the Cold War to define the role of geopolitics in the global political realm.


World Politics After the Cold War Ended

Following the end of the Cold War, a new array of geopolitical scholarship rose into prominence, which ultimately challenged the traditional considerations in the field of geopolitical studies. Although those theories still reflect the presence of geopolitical logic in international relations, this module intends to illuminate the principal difference between the traditional and contemporary approaches in geopolitical analysis.


One More Thing about Geopolitics

This module engages with a vast critique of traditional geopolitical studies. A focus on critical geopolitics addresses contemporary debates related to the ever-existing questions and ambiguities in the realm of international politics. By invoking a critical strand on the geopolitical tradition, this module will introduce a wider range of theories and concepts incorporated in the discipline of geopolitics.


The Key Players in Contemporary Geopolitics

This module will elucidate the currently observed developments in the international realm and explore how an extended range of new concerns and factors in the global political realm could be assessed using traditional and contemporary geopolitical formulations. The module will explain the nature of the newly emergent issues and their impact on the relationship between the major political actors, giving students a chance to look at the current political patterns and dynamics through the lens of geopolitical analysis.


History and Geography of the United States

This module explores one of the three case-studies eliminated illuminated in the course. Analysing key theoretical formulations in the context of a region, the module unravels geopolitical motives behind a number of significant events in the history of the United States.


History and Geography of Russia

This module is devoted to the second equally important country, whose historical developments and transformations could be explained by employing classical geopolitical formulations. The module will provide an overview of historical and political circumstances, which laid the foundation of Russian geopolitics.


History and Geography of China

As China seems to be emerging as the new global power, it is essential to understand the logic behind its recent ascendance in the global arena. This module observes how geopolitical considerations contributed to shaping both the historical background and modern political objectives of the Chinese state.


Geopolitics and its Value

The last module of the course will provide an overview of the previously studied concepts and theories, students with an opportunity to revise and draw together what they have covered in the course. It is anticipated that students will be able to apply the major geopolitical formulations covered over the previous weeks to their subsequent study of international relations.

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