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GEOG 10 — Mapping Global Geopolitics: The Unexpected Ways That Maps Shape Politics Around the Globe

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Tuesdays
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Sep 24—Dec 3
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm
Drop Deadline: Oct 7
Units: 2
Grade Restriction: No letter grade
Tuition: $485
Instructor(s): Martin Lewis
Status: Closed
Please Note: No class on November 26
7:00—8:50 pm
Sep 24—Dec 3
10 weeks
Drop By
Oct 7
2 Units
Grade Restriction
No letter grade
Martin Lewis
Please Note: No class on November 26
The standard political map used by the United States government is a seemingly straightforward document, one that shows the world divided into some 193 nation-states. Yet in actuality, the geopolitical structure of the world is vastly more complicated. To a significant extent, the conventional map advances a diplomatic vision of how the world ought to be organized, rather than providing a neutral portrayal of political reality. As a result, it depicts some countries that do not exist, such as Western Sahara, yet fails to show some existing countries that have been deemed illegitimate such as Somaliland and Taiwan. Similarly, diplomatically unacceptable but probably permanent boundary changes, such as Russia’s annexation of Crimea, are cartographically ignored. Even seemingly stable countries can be so beset with insurgencies and regional separatist movements that they fail to govern much of their own territory depicted on the map.

This course will look beyond this simple depiction of the world to explore how global geopolitical reality is actually structured, regardless of diplomatic legitimacy. Our exploration will be structured geographically, focusing each week on a particular world region, such as East Asia, Latin America, and sub-Saharan Africa. The course is map intensive, using cartography and other visuals to illustrate the intricacies of political geography.

Martin Lewis, Senior Lecturer in International History, Stanford

Martin Lewis is the author or co-author of five books, including The Myth of Continents: A Critique of Metageography and Globalization and Diversity: Geography of a Changing World. He received a PhD in geography from UC Berkeley.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Colin Flint, Introduction to Geopolitics, 3rd (ISBN 978-1138192164)