Geog. 276: Intro to Political Geography

Week 1: Geography, Politics, and 'Political Geography'

I. First Lecture

Meet & Greet, Syllabus Review



II.What is Geography?  What are Politics?



What is "geography", anyway?

Vermeer's Geographer 1669
Jan Vermeer "Ein Geography in seinem Arbeitszimmer", 1669


Geography Lesson

    a. textbook definitions

    b. other ways:

            1. Eratosthenes  
            2. B.L. Turner
            3. Michael Zimmer
            4. UW Department

            5. Kant's definition

 III. The Geographer's Toolkit

Example: Afghanistan

a. Location

1.absolute (?)

2. relative
               i. site
               ii. situation


 b. Distance

        1. absolute

        2. relative

i. friction of distance ii. friction of proximity

 c. Space

        1. absolute

         2. relative

              i. systematic geog.
              ii. jurisdiction

iii. place

iv. landscape

a. forms of representation



3. Spatial patterns:

               i. points or lines or polygons?

               ii. clustering or dispersion?

               iii. spatial correlation or segregation?

               iv. spatial constancy, change, or flux?

               v. presence or absence?


 d. Spatial Interaction


1. Movement & diffusion
                i. expansion
                ii. hierarchical
                iii. mixed

2. accessibility:

i. proximity

ii. connectivity

       3. fixity & immobility

       4. time-space




f. Nature-society

1. recursivity

2. distinction


g. Spatial Scale

1. extent or perspective

2. scale jumping

3. glocal


IV. What are Politics?  What is "the political"?


a. Distributional definition


b. Antagonistic   


c. Constitutive   



 V. Political Geography: Bringing Politics & Geography together


1. The Politics of Geography


2. The Geography of Politics


3. Cox's "Defining Concepts" of Political Geography