Geopolitical Analysis of Contemporary World

General Information
Number of Hours: 
Wednesday 9:45 - 11:15
Preliminary requirements: 

There are no specific requiremenets to enrol to the course, yet general interest in the world of ideas of International Relations (IR), as well as willingness to understand the world affairs is a must. Ability to question and challenge the 'obvious', ability to look at a given problem from multiple angles is needed. Knowledge of current world affairs is a pre-condition to successfully participate in the course. 

Course Description: 

The course is looking at the world we currently live in - both physical, limited by geography of place and distance, as well as hybrid, interconnected and multidmensional - between real and virtual, between empirical and imaginative. Throughout the course, we will go through a series of challenges we face and observe: ongoing conflicts that we follow in the media, superpower competition in many dimensions (from technological, through military and economic, and spatial as well). We will attempt to understand the geopolitical meaning of (post-)Covid world and 'vaccine' diplomacy. We will look beyond current state of affairs and look into the future - with artificial intelligence (AI), migration and cyber-terrorism as challenges for sociecties of tomorrow. To do this, we will leverage both methods and concepts of classic geopolitics, as well as critical ones, we will try to use the concenpt of geopolitical codes as well as explore if we can come up with individual method of looking through the 'geopolitical' lens - that is, geopolitical analysis.  

Aims of the course: 

Enhance students' ability to understand the world and it's parts. Provide them with tools and techniques to critically assess the reality of IR from multiple angles, attempting to have as objective conclusion as possible. Show reliable sources of information and teach them the ability to go beyond simple single cause - effect relationship, including the ability to look at the world from other cultural background.  

Teaching methods: 

Seminar-style (no lecture): Discussion (potentially with some introduction to a method of analysis), and small group work with facilitation (problem-solving, presentation of ideas). 

Evaluation & Completion: 

Given the need for virtual participation, the course will be assessed on the basis of: participation (mix of course attendance and activity - discussion, overall involvement) and group work (presentation). Detailed assessment method will be finalized once the full group is formed. 

In selected cases additional way (e.g. written essay) of completion might be considered (if a student cannot attend the course 100% due to e.g. health problems).  

Basic Literature: 

Anonymous, The Longer Telegram: Toward A New American China Strategy, Atlantic Council 2021. Available at: (as of Feb 2021). 

Global Trends Paradox of Progress, National Intelligence Council January 2017. Full content available at: (as of Feb 2021). 

J. H. Mackinder, The Geographical Pivot of History, „Geographical Journal”, XXIII, 1904 (copy also in PDF format).

Naftali Kadmon, Toponymy and Geopolitics: The Political Use — and Misuse — of Geographical Names, The Cartographic JournalVol. 41 No. 2pp. 85–87IGC Special Issue 2004. Available via: (as of Feb 2021).

Zbigniew Brzezinski, A geostrategy for Eurasia, „Foreign Affairs”, 76:5, September/October 1997, available at: (as of Feb 2021).