- Code MEAS4114
- Unit Value 6 units
- 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
- Academic career UGRD
- Mode of delivery In Person
- Co-taught Course
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.
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:
- Demonstrate familiarity with Central Asia as a geographic and political entity, and its place in the global system of international affairs.
- 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.
- Develop critical approaches to various Geopolitical discourses focusing on Central Asia.
- Analyse patterns of alliance-making and the dynamics of cooperation and confrontation among great powers in Central Asia.
- 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 Assessment4000 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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Workload130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 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
Preliminary ReadingNick 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.
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- 6 units
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