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Course 2018-2019 a.y.


Department of Social and Political Sciences

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 31

CLEAM (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SPS/04) - CLEF (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SPS/04) - CLEACC (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SPS/04) - BESS-CLES (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SPS/04) - WBB (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SPS/04) - BIEF (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SPS/04) - BIEM (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SPS/04) - BIG (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SPS/04) - BEMACS (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SPS/04)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (I sem.)

Lezioni della classe erogate in presenza


Students in Geopolitics would benefit of some knowledge in the fields of political science and international relations.

Mission & Content Summary

Geopolitics focuses on the spatial dimensions of power and in particular on States’ policies and strategies designed to establish and secure control over areas and resources. Geopolitics studies the dynamics of the establishment of spheres of influence at the international level, and has close relations with disciplines as geography and international relations. The World’s geopolitical multiple equilibria are continuously evolving and recombining, making political geography also a field concerned with the longitudinal, historical dimension. The Twentieth century has witnessed an outstanding acceleration in the transformations in the World’s geopolitical framework, starting from the break-up of the old geopolitical order precedent the Great War, the rise of new powers, the Cold War, until the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Today, the global geopolitical order is again under radical transformation. The course gives an overview of the key issues in contemporary geopolitics placing them within a broad historical context, and also focuses on critical areas and players.


Part 1: Introduction and basic concepts:

  • Introduction to geopolitics.
  • The history of Geopolitical thought.
  • Global Geopolitics in the 20th century.
  • The cultural and political dimension of geopolitics.

Part 2: Current topics in geopolitics:

  • World geopolitics in the 21st centuries.
  • Topic 1: The geography of global economic imbalances and socio-economic pressures of international migration flows.
  • Topic 2: The political economic geography of international transport networks: from Open Skies agreements to One Belt One Road.
  • Topic 3: The city-state paradigm.
  • Topic 4: Multinationals and the political geography of global investment.
  • Topic 5: Spatial methods for political and economic geography.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Better evaluate the status of the current geopolitical equilibria.
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Understand the future evolution and transformation patterns of geopolitical strategies of World's countries.

Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Individual assignments
  • Group assignments
  • Interactive class activities (role playing, business game, simulation, online forum, instant polls)

The course is mostly interactive in different ways, including lectures and seminars by professionals and researchers.

Assessment methods
  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  •   x x
  • Individual assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • x    
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • x    
  • Active class participation (virtual, attendance)
  • x    

    The student's evaluation are based upon a multiple number of items, included a final written exam, and individual and collective workgroups.


    The non-attending students' evaluations are based on a final exam, written in the form of open questions, and on the review of two additional books decided with the instructor.

    Teaching materials

    Because one of the aims of the course is to present students with diverse views on the topics discussed, and make them think critically about them, it cannot be used a single textbook. 

    • The main readings are a series of academic articles and book chapters that are detailed at the beginning of the course. 
    • Additional materials (hand-outs, lecture notes, occasional articles, etc.) are distributed during of the course.
    Last change 04/06/2018 10:05