Political and Economic Geography

General Information
Lecture+Workshop (15 minutes break)
dr Tomasz Klin
Number of Hours: 
Monday 15:30 - 18:45
Preliminary requirements: 

The course is an introduction to a variety of courses realized during the whole studies, especially Geopolitics. Its key aim for students is to have basic understanding of complex interactions taking place in geo-space, where politics and economics are dominating, but not exclusive factors. Political and Economic Geography begins students’ adventure with geo-space – and is completed with the course on Geopolitics on the 3rd year.  

As this course is offered on the 1st semester of the 1st year of studies, there are no specific preliminary requirements. That being said, general knowledge of geography is expected, with focus on nation states distribution on a map, key resources location, languages and religions distribution, etc.

Having completed the course students will have possessed the knowledge of a political and economic factors that form the basis of international relations, with strong (but not exclusive) focus on historical and cultural background, economic relations (trade od goods, services and people flow), and  key resources. The knowledge on political and economic geography will be complemented with the ability to analyze International Relations (IR) from the point of view of geography, with some predictive capability. Key competencies to gain would be: the ability to understand and explain the background of current and prospective events of IR leveraging knowledge of geography and analytical skills.  

Course Description: 


1. Introduction to the course: key definitions and relations with other/similar topics (geopolitics, geo-economy, geo-strategy, physical geography). Explaining of the nature of lecture vs. tutorials, presenting grading scheme

2. Historical background of political and economic geography as a way of looking at the world, with reference to regional/national traditions

3. Territory and border in political and economic geography. The notion of power – from political and economy perspective

4. Visualizing political and economic geography – map & territory question

5. Nation-state as a concept of political and economic geography

6. Region and regional geography from politics and economic perspective

7. World system as a matrix for understanding political and economic geography and power distribution

8. Megacities as new actors of political and economic geography

9. Global (natural) resources distribution – advantage of curse?

10. Global trade patterns and routes: where is it good to be located?

11. Electoral geography

12. Urban geography – key space of the future?

13. Geography of security

14. Mapping global conflicts and their media representation

15. Political & Economic Geography vs. Geopolitics and Strategy: outlook for the 3rd year course


1. Introduction to analysis of IR from political & economic geography perspective

2. Sources of data for political & economic geography analysis

3. Focus of regions of the world (Europe, Asia, the Americas, Africa, the Middle East, the Arctic & Antarctica)

4. Focus on selected aspects of political and economic geography (religion, language, culture, migration)

5. Political and economic geography analysis as the background of IR understanding – presentations

Aims of the course: 

A student has basic knowledge about a state as an actor of IR, inter-state and international relations, including global political and economic problems.

She/he defines basic norms and regulations of international law. 

She/he explains basic economic processes and concepts (both at micro- and macro- levels, economic policies, and economic determinants of state position in IR).

She/he describes most important integration and disintegration processes in Europe and in the world.

She/he can characterize position of a country (e.g. Poland) in IR, including geographic conditions that determine the position of a country.

She/he can define basic ideas of social communication with reference to geography.

She/he knows basic models and concepts of organizational setup and management of political and economic institutions.

She/he explains conditions and consequences of regionalization and the meaning of regions in contemporary IR.

She/he has basic knowledge on identifying conflicts (and their sources) on group, state and international levels. 

She/he can rightfully interpret basic cultural, political, legal and economic events taking place in contemporary IR.

She/he can leverage basic theoretical knowledge to analyze concrete processes or events (cultural, political, legal and economic) of contemporary IR.

She/he can analyze basic economic problems within Economics and IR that are grounded in geography.

She/he can analyze the relations between actors of IR and in that process she/he can make a synthesis of various categories of pre-conditions (political, economic, social, demographic, cultural, military and information). 

She/he can elaborate on important political and economic aspects of contemporary world.

She/he can work and collaborate in group setting, adapting specific roles.

She/he presents objective, emotions-free analysis when assessing historical and contemporary events.

She/he can assess the political behavior using science, adopting realistic and critical perspective. 

Teaching methods: 

During the course a variety of teaching methods will be used, starting from a lecture (using multimedia), through tutorials with data and text analysis, discussion, case study analysis and group work. In addition to that, students will be asked to prepare individual essay (about 1500 words) and present to the group a review of a book devoted to the course subject. 

Evaluation & Completion: 

Students will have to take an oral exam at the end of the course (based on 100 questions to be known at least 1 month before the exam date) – 2 questions per person, grade is based on average of the 2 answers (rated on 0-5 scale). To be allowed to take the exam they will have to receive passing mark from tutorials, based on (a) course participation, (b) discussion & group work participation (each weighting 25% of the total mark); (c) individual work (review of a book and an essay) – weighing 50% of the mark. Failure to deliver an essay and/or book review (or case of plagiarism) and tutorial participation lower than 75% (except of force majeure) eliminates from the course completion. 

Basic Literature: 

Colin Flint, Peter J. Taylor, Political Geography : World-Economy, Nation-State and Locality, Ed. 6th (revised), Taylor & Francis Ltd, London 2012, ISBN-13: 9780273735908

Tim Marshall, Prisoners of Geography : Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics, Elliott & Thompson Limited, London 2016, ISBN-13: 9781783962433

Carolyn Gallaher, Carl T. Dahlman, Mary Gilmartin, Alison Mountz, Peter Shirlow, Key Concepts in Political Geography, Sage Publications Ltd, London 2009, ISBN-13: 9781412946728

James T. Murphy, Yuko Aoyama, Susan Hanson, Key Concepts in Economic Geography, Sage Publications Ltd, London 2010, ISBN-13 9781847878953

Additional Literature: 


Joe Painter, Alex Jeffrey, Political Geography, 2nd edition, Sage Publications Ltd, London 2009, ISBN-13: 978-1412901383

Mary Kaldor, New and Old Wars: Organized Violence in a Global Era, 3rd Edition, Stanford University Press, 2012, ISBN-13: 978-0804785495

Robert D. Kaplan, The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate, Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2013, ISBN-13: 978-0812982220

Academic journals (selection):

Political Geography, Herodote, Global Politics, Progress in Human Geography, Journal of Urban Management, Journal of Eurasian Studies