The ongoing Indian-Pakistani rivalry over Kashmir, the recent violence between Azeri and Armenian soldiers related to Nagorno-Karabach and the melting of the Arctic ice cap underline the continued importance of geography in foreign policy and international relations. This course teaches you the skills necessary to develop an analytical framework to study past, present and future drivers of geopolitical conflicts, and their impact on the foreign policy strategy of the countries involved.
What are the key physical-geographical and human-geographical factors of the conflicts in the Arctic, Kashmir, Nagorno-Karabach, South China Sea and Syria? Do geopolitical ideas such as Heartland, Rimland and Clash of Civilizations play a role in these conflicts? And how can scenario planning help you develop plausible futures for these geopolitical conflicts? To answer these questions, you do three group assignments in which you first collect and interpret a multitude of geopolitical conflict indicators for one of the five aforementioned conflicts. Then you use the data to develop scenarios for your conflict area. You present all your findings in class. Interactive lectures and roundtable discussions help you prepare for your assignments.