RossC157
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I'm starting this MA in September at KCL. Is anyone else doing this course? Also, if anyone is currently doing it, or has completed it, what is some good reading material for the next few months before starting?
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Dawkinator
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Yes I'm starting this course this year!!!!! I think Prisoners of Geography is a good book to start off with, as well as Peter Frankopan's New Silk Roads.
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RossC157
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will be great or meet you soon! I've read prisoners of geographic so I'll check out the second one.
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tomonks
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I’ve just finished this course and hopefully your experience will be just as great. It’s a unique programme with lots of important topics and expertise to hand. For international boundaries, which forms a key focus of the course, van Houtum’s 2005 article: “The Geopolitics of Borders and Boundaries” is a recurring text in the MA’s core module. It’s quite short. You should be able to get that on websites like researchgate if you don’t have your KCL logins yet. The course leader, Richard Schofield’s 2015 article: “Back to the Barrier Function” is a good overview on boundaries. Books such as Lines in the Sand, Revenge of Geography and Prisoners of Geography are popular starting points, but much of the stuff you’ll study challenges the latter two. If you want to really get into the ‘critical geopolitics’ of the course, Megoran’s book: “Nationalism in Central Asia” is great, but his 2012 article is a shorter and similar biography of the Kyrgyz and Uzbek boundary. Agnew’s 1994 article: “The Territorial Trap” - though not referenced specifically by the course - justifies the study of geopolitics/territory against mainstream international relations, and inspired many texts that help us to reappraise the approach taken by the likes of Kaplan/Marshall in Revenge/Prisoners. Reece Jones’ new books are leading in border studies, whilst David Newman is another prominent scholar in the course. Jared Diamond and Samuel Huntington are some other popular authors, the kind whose general ideas are picked apart through the MA. These kind of ‘Waterstones’ books such as ‘Prisoners’ become less relevant as the course gets going. Wising up on case studies of territorial disputes would be the best way to prepare, giving you knowledge to refer to when discussing theories, lectures, debates and coursework.
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Stefanidi
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(Original post by tomonks)
I’ve just finished this course and hopefully your experience will be just as great. It’s a unique programme with lots of important topics and expertise to hand. For international boundaries, which forms a key focus of the course, van Houtum’s 2005 article: “The Geopolitics of Borders and Boundaries” is a recurring text in the MA’s core module. It’s quite short. You should be able to get that on websites like researchgate if you don’t have your KCL logins yet. The course leader, Richard Schofield’s 2015 article: “Back to the Barrier Function” is a good overview on boundaries. Books such as Lines in the Sand, Revenge of Geography and Prisoners of Geography are popular starting points, but much of the stuff you’ll study challenges the latter two. If you want to really get into the ‘critical geopolitics’ of the course, Megoran’s book: “Nationalism in Central Asia” is great, but his 2012 article is a shorter and similar biography of the Kyrgyz and Uzbek boundary. Agnew’s 1994 article: “The Territorial Trap” - though not referenced specifically by the course - justifies the study of geopolitics/territory against mainstream international relations, and inspired many texts that help us to reappraise the approach taken by the likes of Kaplan/Marshall in Revenge/Prisoners. Reece Jones’ new books are leading in border studies, whilst David Newman is another prominent scholar in the course. Jared Diamond and Samuel Huntington are some other popular authors, the kind whose general ideas are picked apart through the MA. These kind of ‘Waterstones’ books such as ‘Prisoners’ become less relevant as the course gets going. Wising up on case studies of territorial disputes would be the best way to prepare, giving you knowledge to refer to when discussing theories, lectures, debates and coursework.
Sounds like a great postgraduate degree🙂. I’m an undergraduate studying geography atm so this really sounds like an interesting masters as I’d like to specialise in geopolitics instead of launching into a general IR degree
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monkstom
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(Original post by Stefanidi)
Sounds like a great postgraduate degree🙂. I’m an undergraduate studying geography atm so this really sounds like an interesting masters as I’d like to specialise in geopolitics instead of launching into a general IR degree
I hope you go for it. It’s one of the few places you can study geopolitics in the UK and even more unique for its focus on international boundaries. Wanting to get away from the plain diplomacy-focused state of IR was also a motivation of mine and this course really showed how much geographical factors are obscured by IR
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Dawkinator
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Anyone know what to do in this intro week? Aside from the meeting with the director on Wednesday morning, anything else? I'm a new student to KCL btw
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RossC157
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Great explainer post tomonks. Thank you.

(Original post by Dawkinator)
Anyone know what to do in this intro week? Aside from the meeting with the director on Wednesday morning, anything else? I'm a new student to KCL btw
I am wondering the same thing. I feel very uncertain about what is going on as I am also a new student.
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