The rise of China, increased uncertainty about US foreign policy and growing concerns about natural resources scarcity underline the relevance of geopolitical complexity in international relations. This course teaches you the skills to study geopolitical drivers of inter-state conflicts, write scenarios for these conflicts and assess the impact of these scenarios on the foreign policy strategy of the states involved.
Why are safeguarding national security and projecting power abroad often seen as essential national interests? What is the difference between geopolitics and geo-economics, and what are their respective roles in foreign policy? And how can scenario planning help you define plausible futures for territorial/maritime conflicts, and likely responses to them by the states involved? To answer these questions, you first do an analysis of the foreign policy strategy of a state that is involved in an inter-state conflict about a particular area. Then follows an assignment in which you analyse the geopolitical risk drivers of the disputed area and write scenarios for this area. The final assignment concerns an assessment of the possible responses of a particular state to each scenario. You present all your findings in class. Interactive lectures and roundtable discussions help you prepare for your assignments.