Geopolitics and Geostrategy II

Academic year
Subject Area
Área Científica do Menor
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
1st Cycle Studies

Recommended Prerequisites


Teaching Methods

Lectures and seminars are organized to encourage students’ active involvement in learning, fostering student teacher interaction. Lectures will contextualize each topic and will be followed by the analysis and debate of the relevant scientific texts and case studies in the seminar classes.

Learning Outcomes

Overall learning objectives:

This curricular unit aims to provide basic skills of identification and analysis of the geopolitical and geostrategic factors at play in international relations and areas of endemic conflict.

 Specific objectives and competencies:

- Using theoretical concepts of geopolitics and geostrategy and its application to case studies and areas of international conflict;

- Critical interpretation of the historical process and political, social and economic behavior in international relations deriving from geopolitical considerations.

- Examining the tensions between major world and regional powers of the international system;

- Identifying and assessing particular conflict areas;

- Presenting critical approaches to international politics.

Generic competencies:

Development of analysis and synthesis skills, reading comprehension and oral expression.

Work Placement(s)



The Cold War:

i) The antagonism and confrontation between the Western and Eastern blocs;

ii) The main tenets of US and Soviet Union’s strategies.

Nuclear power:

i) Characteristics of weapons of mass destruction;

ii) Origins and evolution of nuclear weapons: the arms race and the balance of terror;

iii) Proliferation and control of nuclear arms in the post-Cold War.

The new world order:

i) The unipolar world;

ii) The end of history;

iii) Perception of contemporary threats: the clash of civilizations.

September 11:

i) Definitions of terrorism. Islamic terrorism;

ii) The US and global security: the war in Iraq.

The Mediterranean, the Middle East and the Gulf:

i) The Israeli-Palestinian conflict;

ii) The Arab Spring;

iii) Forgotten conflicts: the Kurds and Western Sahara.

Sub-Saharan Africa:

i) Pre-colonial Africa;

ii) Africa under colonialism;

iii) African decolonisations;

iv) Africa today.

Head Lecturer(s)

Bernardo da Silva Relva Teles Fazendeiro

Assessment Methods

Oral participation in both lectures and seminars: 30.0%
Two intermediate tests: 70.0%

Exam: 100.0%


Booth, Ken (1998), Statecraft and Security: The Cold War and Beyond. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Claval, Paul (1996), Géopolitique et géostratégie. La pensée politique, l’espace et le territoire au XXe siècle. Paris: Éditions Nathan

Cohen, Saul Bernard, Geopolitics of the World System, Rowman & Littlefield, Oxford, 2003.

Correia, Pedro de Pezarat (2010), Manual de Geopolítica e Geoestratégia. Volumes I e II. Lisboa: Almedina (Colecção CES)

Défarge, Philippe Moreau (1994), Introduction à la Géopolitique. Paris: Éditions du Seuil

Gaddis, John Lewis (1998), We Now Know : Rethinking Cold War History. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hobsbawm, Eric (1996), A era dos extremos: breve história do século XX, 1914-1991. 2ª ed. Lisboa: Editorial Presença.

Snyder, Craig (ed.) (1999), Contemporary Security and Strategy. Basingstoke: Macmillan Press.

Tuathail, Gearoid; Dalby, Simon; Routledge, Paul (eds.) (1998), The Geopolitics Reader. London: Routledge.