• Offered by Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Middle Eastern & Central Asian Studies
  • Areas of interest Geography, Arab and Islamic Studies, International Relations, Middle East Studies, Central Asia Studies

Geopolitics, or the study of international relations from a geographical perspective, has a venerable tradition as an academic discipline going back to the late-19th century. It has also informed strategic thinking of great powers seeking territorial expansion or global influence. The Eurasian heartland, and especially its southern fringe comprising Central Asia, has continuously been at the centre of the interpretation of the whole world situation from a spatial viewpoint.

This course will discuss the roots of contemporary geopolitical thought, focusing on the British, continental European, American, and Russian contributions. It will examine practical manifestations of geopolitics during World War II and the Cold War before moving to an analysis of contemporary conflicts in Eurasia’s southern Muslim belt through the prism of great power rivalry involving China, Russia, the USA, and other regional actors. 

The course will conclude with a survey of modern critical approaches within the discipline of geopolitics, which go beyond the Realist paradigm in explaining conflictual and associative patterns of behaviour of territorial states in the region.

 

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
  1. Demonstrate familiarity with Central Asia as a geographic and political entity, and its place in the global system of international affairs.
  2. Reflect on, and discuss the key concepts, themes, and schools of thought pertaining to Geopolitics as an IR discipline and a particular modality of policy-making by powerful states.
  3. Develop critical approaches to various Geopolitical discourses focusing on Central Asia.
  4. Analyse patterns of alliance-making and the dynamics of cooperation and confrontation among great powers in Central Asia.
  5. Locate and collate materials on a topic relevant to Geopolitics and Central Asian studies, and present findings in a coherent manner on paper and orally.

Indicative Assessment

4000 word research essay (60%), Learning Outcomes 1-5
Final Examination, 3 hours (held during the formal examination period) (40%), Learning Outcomes 1-5

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Workload

130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of workshop and workshop-like activities.
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be studying a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) or a Bachelor of Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies (Honours), or completion of 144 units towards the Bachelor of Philosophy (Arts). You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed MEAS8114.

Preliminary Reading

Nick Megoran and Sevara Sharapova, eds. Central Asia in International Relations: The Legacies of Halford Mackinder. New York: Columbia University Press, 2013.
Alexander Cooley. Great Games, Local Rules. The New Great Power Contest in Central Asia. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.

Fees

Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
1
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

Units EFTSL
6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $2820
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $4320
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9605 27 Jul 2020 03 Aug 2020 31 Aug 2020 30 Oct 2020 In Person N/A

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