Geopolitical Scenario Planning: National Security, Geo-Economics and Foreign Policy Strategy
Period: 10-14 July 2017
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. The companion course is Geopolitical Conflict Analysis 1: Fragmented Identities, Rising Powers and International Security Threats.
▪ Designing an analytical framework to study the role of geographical and geostrategic factors in geopolitical conflicts
▪ Understanding different perspectives on the interaction between geography and politics
▪ Developing scenarios for spatial rivalry in the Arctic, Kashmir, Nagorno-Karabach, South China Sea and Syria
▪ Strong motivation and good command of English are essential to get a pass for the course.
▪ Basic knowledge of (geo)political ideas and trends is recommended.
▪ Aimed at Bachelor/ Master/ PhD students in Political Sciences/ International Relations/ Geography/ History/ Economics/ Business/ Media Studies/ Journalism/ Cultural Studies/ Linguistics. Professionals with various backgrounds benefitted as well from taking previous editions of the course. If in doubt, please contact Leonhardt for personal course selection advice.
▪ Flint, C. (2017) Introduction to Geopolitics. 3nd Edn. Routledge.
▪ Gourdin, P. (2010) Géopolitiques. Manuel Pratique. Choiseul.
▪ Gray, C. and Sloan, G. (1999) Geopolitics, Geography and Strategy. Cass.
▪ Schwartz, P. (1996) The Art of the Long View – Planning for the Future in an Uncertain World. Wiley.
You are further recommended to read some of these blog posts by Leonhardt.
Please note that it is not required to do some reading before the course. If you like to read something, select a book that is closest to your research interests or ask Leonhardt for personal reading advice. For more suggested reading materials, check the following reading lists.
▪ Lectures ▪ Presentations ▪ Work in subgroups
▪ Attendance ▪ Participation ▪ Presentation
▪ Analytical Skills ▪ Geopolitical Methods ▪ Geopolitics ▪ Physical Geography ▪ Human Geography ▪ Geostrategy ▪ Foreign Policy Strategy ▪ Scenario Planning
Accommodation: please visit Maastricht Housing website
Funding: not available
Related GeoMeans Summer School Courses:
▪ Geopolitical Conflict Analysis 1: Fragmented Identities, Rising Powers and International Security Threats
▪ Country Risk Analysis 1: Political Risk Indicators, Geo-Economics and Report Writing
▪ Country Risk Analysis 2: Macro-Economic Risk Indicators, Causal Chain Tool and Recession Scenarios for China