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Geopolitical Trends Analysis: China's Global Power, Nationalism in Europe and Africa’s Natural Resources

Maastricht Summer School
Netherlands, Maastricht
Maastricht Summer School Netherlands, Bonnefantenstraat 2, 6211 KL Maastricht, The Netherlands
Tuition fee €598 per programme


The world seems to change faster than ever, raising important geopolitical questions. For example, how does China’s Belt and Road Initiative change the power relations between China and other states? How does nationalism influence the coherence of the European Union and the geopolitical position of Europe’s countries such as Hungary, Russia and the United Kingdom? And how do conflicts over natural resources such as hydrocarbons, rare metals and fresh water affect the international relations of African states? To answer these questions, this Summer School offers you interactive lectures about three influential geopolitical approaches. In these lectures, the differences between geopolitics, geostrategy and geo-economics are discussed as well. Another lecture explains key geopolitical concepts such as nation-state, national identity and national power. You will also be taught methods to assess national power, analyze geopolitical frames and conduct a geopolitical study of natural resources. To apply freshly acquired skills, you do a few group assignments and one individual assignment about geopolitical trends of your choice.

Course Duration and Dates
This is a one week course running from the 20th of July until the 24th of July, 2020

The number of credits earned after successfully concluding this course is the equivalent of 2 ECTS according to Maastricht University’s guidelines. For further information see the MSS terms and conditions

1. Becoming familiar with different approaches to geopolitics, geo-economics and geostrategy.
2. Learning to work with geopolitical concepts such as nation-state, national identity and national power.
3. Designing a framework to bring order in the complexity of geopolitical trends.
4. Developing your critical thinking to put claims about geopolitics in a better perspective.
5. Boosting your employability by acquiring valuable skills required for positions in business, government and academia.

Instruction language

1. Strong motivation and good command of English are essential to get a pass for the course.
2. Basic knowledge of (geo)political trends and concepts is recommended.
3. Aimed at Bachelor/Master/PhD students in International Relations, Political Sciences, Political Geography, Economics, Business and Finance. Moreover, various professionals and students with other backgrounds also successfully completed earlier editions of this course. If in doubt, please contact Maastricht Summer School.

Coordinator Dr L.A.S. van Efferink

Dr Leonhardt van Efferink has been an enthusiastic Course Leader at Maastricht Summer School since 2013. His courses always bring together students with many national backgrounds. Leonhardt does not only enjoy teaching, but also moderating high-level discussions between his students. During his Summer Schools, he effectively raises skills levels by combining engaging classes with motivating e-mail tutoring. Leonhardt has over 20 years of research experience in country risk and geopolitics. He worked in the financial sector as country risk analyst and now works as self-employed expert for companies, government agencies and international organisations. Leonhardt is specialised in the analysis of economic/political risk drivers, geopolitical trends/scenarios and textual-visual frames/discourses.

“One of Leonhardt’s most remarkable skills as university lecturer is his perceptive understanding of different views as well as the formulation of challenging questions.” Juan from Argentina

“Because of Leonhardt’s passionate lectures on national identity, power and security and his ability to get best out of his students, the summer school was a big succes!” Jeffrey from the United States

“Leonhardt was very helpful. He made a point to answer all our questions and concerns. A tip for future students: ask questions! There are no stupid questions! Leonhardt is kind enough to give you as much time as you need!!” Maguy from Lebanon

Suggested literature
Dr Leonhardt van Efferink has based this course on publications in various languages (see overview below for some examples). You are not required to do pre-course reading. However, if you would like to do so, you are advised to select one of the publications below. You can also contact Leonhardt for tailor-made reading advice.

1. Baldwin, D. (2016) Power and International Relations. A Conceptual Approach.
2. Carmody, P. (2016, 2nd ed.) The New Scramble for Africa.
3. Cattaruzza, A. (2019) Introduction à la Géopolitique.
4. Flint, C. (2017, 3rd ed.) Introduction to Geopolitics.
5. Guibernau, M. (2007) The Identity of Nations.
6. Kingsley, E. S. Rosen and Y. Zhu (eds., 2019). Soft Power With Chinese Characteristics. China’s Campaign for Hearts and Minds.
7. Klare, M. (2002). Resource Wars: The New Landscape of Global Conflict.
8. Lasserre. F. and E. Gonon (2016, 3rd ed.) Manuel de Géopolitique. Enjeux de Pouvoir sur des Territoires.
9. Moyo, D. (2012) Winner Take All: China’s Race For Resources and What It Means For Us.
10. Smith, M.A. (2012) Power in the Changing Global Order.

Teaching methods
▪ Lectures ▪ Presentations ▪ Work in subgroups

Assessment methods
▪ Attendance ▪ Participation ▪ Presentation

Apply now! Block 4.1 2019/20
Application deadline
Jun 8, 2020 23:59
Europe/Amsterdam time
Studies commence
Jul 20, 2020

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States

Apply now! Block 4.1 2019/20
Application deadline
Jun 8, 2020 23:59
Europe/Amsterdam time
Studies commence
Jul 20, 2020

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States