protest activist movement protesting against racism and fighting for equality

Brexit, Extinction Rebellion and Black Lives Matter have all raised serious questions and challenged society to do things differently. Brexit has led to national boundaries and territories being re-enforced; Extinction Rebellion has questioned our relationship with nature; and Black Lives Matter has confronted how public spaces reflect and reproduce racist ideas. Place and politics matter!

In this module you will consider how geographers have studied, influenced and engaged with political and social change. You will do this using three key themes: citizenship, territory and war.

In the first part of the module you'll explore how human societies and groups have constructed ‘territories’, within which much social and political life takes place. This includes the development of the modern state, the creation of state borders, and how these effect national and global politics but also people’s everyday lives.

You will also look at the relations between people and different places through the idea of citizenship. Traditionally citizenship was closely associated with membership of a particular state. It proscribes our rights and duties. Now, though, neighbourhoods, communities and global movements also define what makes us a citizen and how we choose to act as one. You'll ask what citizenship means today, how it affects our lives and how it gives us the means to change them.

Finally, you'll ask what happens when politics fail. Why do conflicts occur? Why do countries go to war and what is the place of the armed forces in society?

This module gives you the ability to understand and question real world events from new and different perspectives. Assessments are designed to allow you to explore contemporary case studies and to develop key graduate employability skills in analysis and communication.

Topics covered:

  • the development of the modern sovereign state
  • borders and boundaries
  • citizenship
  • non-state spaces
  • spaces of conflict.

Teaching staff