What can we learn about how attempts to create order in the world have to do with how things are connected and disconnected? How is it that nationalisms and identities, economic systems, ideologies, inequalities, environmental and health issues, as well as belief systems, are used to connect and disconnect people, ideas, and places creating (new) geopolitical realities?
In this track you will be introduced to a novel approach, developed and led by colleagues at Groningen, to understand geopolitics as a connectivity effect. You will learn how spaces are, and have been, the result of connecting (strategically or not), many of the issues mentioned above. Drawing on historical and contemporary case studies and issues, you will develop unique analytical skills to approach any geopolitical issue in time.
Some questions inspired by this approach are, for example, how has the United States tried to change the terms under which it connects to the world in an attempt to force a different geopolitical context? How is China resetting the terms for its global connectivity through its Belt and Road initiative(s)? How is the European Union attempting to develop an environmental agenda to connect its members and create its geopolitical projection in the world? How do actors in the global realm challenge or benefit from these geopolitical aspirations? How do certain people and regions choose, and have chosen, to geopolitically disconnect from global designs?
Methodologically, you will learn how conflicts and wars, pandemics and environmental disasters, economic and financial crises, systemic infrastructural failures, and different forms of radicalisms, alert us of failing connectivities and the emerging of new ones, and how you can use these connectivities to understand and theorise an ever-emerging world. You will learn how geopolitical designs in time have resulted from the strategic connection of complex issues and interests, and how such designs have resulted from thinking space and power creatively.