This module uses a range of contemporary social and political geographical approaches to understand how, why and in what ways individuals and organizations act in an increasingly globalized world.
In semester 1 the module will elaborate a critical geography approach with regard to current socio-economic developments at the global scale, paying particular attention to questions of social equity, demographic change, household coping strategies, and the spaces of energy production and consumption. A geographical critique of neoliberalism and its discontents will form the conceptual core of the module, utilising the wide body of scholarship in this field. Building on human geography concepts introduced in Year 1, the module will aim to take the students beyond a mere descriptive understanding the basic themes and issues in contemporary social geography, by giving them the skills - mainly through EBL methods - to actively question taken-for-granted assumptions regarding the relationship between society, economy, and the everyday.
Complementing the social geographic approaches considered in semester 1, in semester 2 the focus moves to key concepts in political geography and geopolitics, and to contemporary political geographical forms of organization. Specifically, drawing on historic and contemporary examples (including case studies of the world's largest trading bloc, the European Union), semester 2 provides an in-depth analysis from political geographical perspectives of the following issues: what are the conceptual foundations of geopolitical theory as it has developed in national and global contexts, what are the critical drivers of EU political geography for actors and organizations, and how are these manifested at a variety of spatial scales? And what are the likely future patterns and processes of political integration and geopolitical development across Europe?