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Geopolitics is an ancient intellectual tradition which echoes through contemporary analytic frameworks. Prior to the systematic study of international relations were the heady brews of Thucydides, Machiavelli, and other great writers who sought to formulate general principles of political reality and through empirical observation.
Geopolitical analysis generally refers to the comprehensive strategic assessment of a location, incident or process. This means assessing the dominant centers of gravity within the operational environment, including the principal actors and their security policies. Policy formulation is rooted in capabilities, constraints and goals of actors, whether states or groups, and occur within a political framework informed by historical experience rooted in the actor’s unique physical and strategic geography.
The course takes a holistic approach to international and power politics through the employment of conceptual frameworks rooted in classical geopolitics, security studies, international relations, and political risk analysis. Students are introduced to the major theories and approaches to the discipline and are taught to critically evaluate and apply these theories and approaches through case studies in geopolitical analysis.
“The study of geopolitics “directs the student toward the important and enduring, as opposed to the trivial and transient”.
– Colin Gray, The Geopolitics of the Nuclear Era. Crane, Russak, 1977