Mapping International Relations

Professor Lee Jarvis introduces work from our new international relations students, who started this week.

This week we have been busy welcoming many new International Relations students on to our various undergraduate and postgraduate courses. One of the first things we asked those students to do was to produce their own maps depicting global politics today. The students were given nothing more than a blank piece of paper, a pen or two, and ten minutes to work in small groups with peers they had only recently met. The small sample here shows some of the very impressive outcomes of these efforts.

Beyond an opportunity to demonstrate often quite impressive artistic credentials, the exercise led to some very interesting discussion around the key issues, dynamics, and actors in global politics today. Some students concentrated on the world’s most powerful states; others focused on international organisations. Some groups focused on the global political economy; others focused on war, conflict and insecurity. And these differences, of course, show the diversity of ways in which global politics can be understood – or theorised. I wonder whether their maps will look different by the end of their studies!

To find out more about our International Relations degrees, contact Course Director, Lee Jarvis via

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