Geopolitics (GOVT1105)


This unit will examine how the contemporary international political order has emerged by focusing upon the interplay of diplomatic and strategic issues in the post-war world. It will begin with an analysis of the Cold War and its origins, tracing the development of Soviet-American rivalry, its manifestations in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America, and the different ways in which that rivalry was played out. The collapse of the Soviet Union as both a superpower and a state and the disappearance of the communist bloc will be analysed, before surveying the post-Cold War international scene. Among the issues reviewed in the post-Cold War era will be the question of US hegemony and unilateralism vs. multilateralism, nuclear proliferation, the continuing tension between the first and the third worlds, questions of civilisational conflict, non-state actors and terrorism, democratisation, and regional conflict.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


1x2hr lecture/week, 1x1hr tutorial/week


1x1500wd Essay (30%), 1hr mid-term exam (20%), 2hr Final exam (40%), Tutorial participation (10%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.