Political geography and borders

Course leader: Péter Balogh

This course is an introduction to the two main approaches in political geography: geopolitics as understood in more classic ways, and Critical geopolitics that basically emerged as a response to more established and mainstream conceptions and practices of geopolitics. Similarly, the emergence and re-emergence of borders will be discussed in more traditional but also critical ways.

Subjects to be dealt with include:

  • the historical emergence of classic Political geography as a discipline and practice;
  • the rise of Critical geopolitics as a scholarly approach that questions much of the classics;
  • the importance of borders to the international order and the daily lives of citizens;
  • policies and practices of border-openings and closures, and their effects;
  • overlapping and often competing geopolitical narratives that sustain power relations and legitimise various foreign and domestic policies.

The geographic focus here is on the whole world, but some emphasis is laid on East Central Europe; a region navigating between regional powers such as Germany and Russia, and global powers such as the US and increasingly also China.

Examination: final paper and presentation (2/3), short oral presentation of an article review and active participation in class (1/3)

Tolnai Gábor |