CP0222 - Political Geography: Place, Space and Power

SchoolCardiff School of Planning and Geography
Department CodeCPLAN0
Module CodeCP0222
External Subject CodeL723
Number of Credits20
Language of DeliveryEnglish
Module Leader Dr Richard Gale
SemesterSpring Semester
Academic Year2013/4

Outline Description of Module

This module provides an introduction to political geography and its key concepts of place, space and power and how their interrelationships affect and shape contemporary life. It explores the key theoretical and empirical issues of relevance to studies in political geography; for example, the interface between politics and the spatiality of government, the rise of the state and territoriality, the interplay of nation and nationalism, the scalar politics of place, and the inter-state relations – ‘geopolitics’ – that create globally extensive geographies of power.

On completion of the module a student should be able to

1.    To provide students with a thorough grounding in historical and contemporary studies in political geography.

2.    To impart a solid understanding of the relationship between politics and geography, the politics of place and the nation-state-territory nexus.

3.    To illustrate how political patterns and processes impact at various spatial scales, from the global to the local.

4.    To explore these key themes through both theoretical engagement and a series of empirically grounded case studies.

How the module will be delivered

The module will be delivered through a combination of approaches, including: lectures, seminars, class debates/quizzes, Field Study Visits and guided independent study.

Skills that will be practised and developed

Whilst studying this module, students will practice and develop the following skills:

1.    Analytical skills

2.    Group working skills

3.    Debating skills

4.    Presentation of ideas

5.    Responding to feedback

How the module will be assessed

Students will be assessed through two mechanisms. The first is a group presentation. Feedback on this presentation will provide the students with an opportunity to develop their thoughts in their second assignment; an individual essay.

Type of assessment





(if applicable)

Approx. date of Assessment

Essay (2000 words)




Late March




1.5 hours


If any students with disability are not able to participate fully in the group work, appropriate individual coursework will be set instead.


The potential for reassessment in this module

The two assessed components are aggregated into an overall mark. In the event that you fail the module without extenuating circumstances, you may retake the module during the summer period for a maximum mark of 40%.

Assessment Breakdown

Type % Title Duration(hrs) Period Week
Examination - Spring Semester 50
Political Geography: Place, Space And Power
1.5 1 N/A
Written Assessment 50
N/A 1 N/A

Syllabus content

The module begins with the main theoretical and foundational concepts of space, power and territoriality; globalisation, geographical scales and the state; identity, place and difference. Thereafter, we move on to empirically grounded applications of these concepts through engagement with particular case-studies. These cases are organised according to the different spatial scales to which they relate, from the politics of neighbourhood and place attachment, through city governance and urban movements to nation-state relations and ‘realpolitik’. However, a key concern of the course is to instil an understanding of how the politics that pertain to different spatial scales are often mutually constitutive and reinforcing.

Essential Reading and Resource List

Key reading:

**Agnew, J., Mitchell, K. and Toal, G. (Eds.) (2002) A Companion to Political Geography. Oxford: Blackwell.


*Blacksell, M. (2006) Political Geography. London: Routledge.


*Painter, J. and Jeffrey, A. (2009) Political Geography: An Introduction to Space and Power. Sage. London.


*Taylor, P. J. and Flint, C. (2000) Political Geography. World-Economy, Nation-State and Locality. Prentice Hall: Essex. Fourth Edition.



Complementary reading:

Cox, K. (2002) Political Geography. Territory, State and Society. Oxford: Blackwell.


Dikshit, R. D. (Ed.) (1997) Developments in Political Geography. A Century of Progress. Sage Publications: London.


Gallaher, C., Dahlman, C., Gilmartin, M. and Mountz, A. (2009) Key Concepts in Political Geography. Sage. London.


Glassner, M. I. (1996) Political Geography. John Wiley and Sons: New York. Second Edition.


Jones, M., Jones, R. and Woods, M. (2004) An Introduction to Political Geography. London: Routledge.


Muir, R. (1997) Political Geography. An Introduction. Macmillan: London.

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