Are you looking for an inspiring, engaging and inclusive Geopolitics Summer School? Unfortunately, Editor Leonhardt cannot organize it at Maastricht University in 2020. This is due to COVID-19 Pandemic.

Leonhardt’s Geopolitics Summer School normally consists of two modules:

Leonhardt would also teach two other courses offline at Maastricht University in 2020:

Media Representations and Research Methods: Critical Discourse Analysis, Social Semiotics and News Framing

One Summer School of Leonhardt will be organized as an online course in 2020: Media Representations and Research Methods: Critical Discourse Analysis, Social Semiotics and News Framing.

The tweets of US-President Donald Trump, the heated social media debate on Greta Thunberg and the many angles on migration stress the pivotal role of texts and images in our societies. This course teaches you the analytical skills to study the possible meanings of textual and visual media representations.

Interactive lectures offer you concepts and methods to examine what combinations of words and/or visual elements mean in terms of a broader debate in society. These lectures further help you to understand how national identities and power relations affect the interpretations of media representations. Your individual assignment concerns a short paper, in which you apply a method to study one or two news articles, cartoons or social media posts.

Specially for this Summer School, Dr Leonhardt van Efferink developed a template that helps you to write a well-structured course paper. On top of this, he offers individual feedback in class and active personal tutoring by e-mail. Finally, his support includes a simple framework to develop focused, consistent and transparent research questions.

Below you find the descriptions of the two courses of Leonhardt’s Geopolitical Summer School at Maastricht University.

[CANCELLED IN 2020] Summer School “Geopolitical Trends Analysis: China’s Global Power, Nationalism in Europe and Africa’s Natural Resources

The world seems to change faster than ever, raising important geopolitical questions.

For example, how does China’s Belt and Road Initiative change the power relations between China and other states? How does nationalism influence the coherence of the European Union and the geopolitical position of Europe’s countries such as Hungary, Russia and the United Kingdom? And how do conflicts over natural resources such as hydrocarbons, rare metals and fresh water affect the international relations of African states?

To answer these questions, this Summer School offers you interactive lectures about three influential geopolitical approaches. In these lectures, the differences between geopolitics, geostrategy and geo-economics are discussed as well. Another lecture explains key geopolitical concepts such as nation-state, national identity and national power. You will also be taught methods to assess national power, analyze geopolitical frames and conduct a geopolitical study of natural resources.

To apply freshly acquired skills, you do a few group assignments and one individual assignment about geopolitical trends of your choice.

[CANCELLED IN 2020] Summer School “Geopolitical Scenario Planning: National Security, Territorial/Maritime Conflicts and Foreign Policy Strategy

The melting Arctic ice cap, the disputed South China Sea boundaries and the tense situation in Kashmir underline the importance of territorial and maritime conflicts in international relations. This Summer School helps you to better understand and manage the related geopolitical uncertainty.

The central question is how scenario planning can help you imagine plausible futures of territorial and maritime conflicts. Interactive lectures and workshops teach you to identify the geopolitical drivers of inter-state conflicts, and use these drivers to write geopolitical scenarios.

This Summer School also enables you to assess the impact of your scenarios on the foreign policy strategy of the involved states. To do this, you learn to analyze common notions of national security and national interests in these states.

To apply your newly developed skills, you do a few assignments about an inter-state conflict of your choice. Step-by-step, you become more familiar with a basic, yet effective approach towards scenario planning, which has proven to be an excellent starting point to study more advanced approaches after the course.

Geopolitics Summer School

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