Summer Schools

Geopolitics Summer Schools

Editor Leonhardt van Efferink was guest lecturer at summer schools in Geneva and Hamburg in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Since 2014, he has been course leader of two Geopolitics Summer Schools at Maastricht University. Both courses will again be organised in 2017.

The first one is called Geopolitical Conflict Analysis 1: Fragmented Identities, Rising Powers and International Security Threats. The civil war in Syria, BREXIT and the unexpected election of Donald Trump as American president all underline the continued importance of national identity, power and security. This course teaches you the skills necessary to study how different ideas about these key concepts can affect geopolitical conflicts. How stable and uncontested are the identities of nation-states such as Spain, Turkey and Ukraine? Why do we see conflicting perspectives on the power of China, Germany, India, Russia and the United States? And in which ways can the security threats to the world, its regions and particular countries be assessed? To answer these questions, you do two individual assignments in which you introduce and then analyze a political speech and a think-tank report from a country of your choice. In the first group assignment, you try to measure the global power of one of the aforementioned countries. The second group assignment concerns the writing of scenarios about international security threats. You present all your findings in class. Interactive lectures and roundtable discussions help you prepare for your assignments.

The second one is called Geopolitical Conflict Analysis 2: Geographical Indicators, Geostrategy and Scenario Planning Tools. 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 spatial and social 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.

Leonhardt also organises two summer schools on country risk analysis, and two on media representations:

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