PROFESSOR SCOTT KIRSCH
What is political power? Are power and political processes knowable without understanding how they are spatially distributed in territories, regions, and landscapes? Our premise is that the answer to these questions is “No,” and that politics — whether practiced formally by nation-states, international agencies, or local governments, or pragmatically by corporations, police, labor unions, and school boards — always have important geographical dimensions. Questions of where political processes take place, in other words, make a difference to how politics work. The purpose of Geography 453 is thus to explore how we shape, define, and regulate the world through political processes occurring at local, national, regional, and global scales, and, in turn, to question how the geography of political processes may shape the possibilities for our future politics. The course brings geographical, historical, and a range of social science perspectives to bear on a survey of key issues in the fields of political geography and geopolitics, including the geography of war and peace; globalization; nationalism and identity politics; electoral geographies; urban governance; and environmental politics. The course also explores the history of geopolitics.