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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Introduction to Contemporary Geopolitics by HSE University

257 ratings
97 reviews

About the Course

Geopolitics is all around us, it happens every day. The course shows the connection between geography and international relations, the origins of geopolitical concepts and ideas, how countries view the world around them, why their views are different and how space and distance determine economic ties and security concerns. Students, employees of public and private companies involved in international activity, as well as simply curious people can find this course basic, but interesting and useful. This course introduces geopolitics – one of the ways to interpret and explain international relations in the modern world. To do this, you will study the origins of this discipline, as well as its concepts that determined foreign policy decisions in the XX century. After that, we will look at the most recent versions of geopolitics and how some of them can be used for critical analysis. The main goal of the course is to understand the geopolitical approach to international relations and learn how to use it to explain and predict events taking place at the regional or global level. This includes studying theories, using them for case studies, passing tests to assess knowledge and correct understanding of the geopolitical approach. The course has no prerequisites, though it is desirable that the listeners have an interest in international politics, know the world map well and the changes that took place there in the XX century. The course "Political Geography and the Modern World", which is held at the HSE before studying Modern Geopolitics and which was created to prepare students for the study of theories of international relations, can help you with this. The course is for: • Those who are interested in international relations • Students in Politics, Regional Studies and Social Sciences • Those who want to find links and causalities between geography and international politics • Students who like history and who want to know the nature of major international events in the XX century • Those who prefer online format and a quick and basic explanation of international processes • For everyone who wants to know about the world around us The course consists of short video lectures from 6 to 11 minutes, in which invaluable questions are included. An estimated test of 10-15 questions will take place every week. In the end of the online course there is a final exam in the form of test. The course allows you to interpret international events in different ways, evaluate and predict them from perspective of different geopolitical approaches....

Top reviews

Jun 10, 2020

I found this course very well organized, informative and knowledge enriching. I really enjoyed doing this course. Thank you very much to coursera and the college for providing this oppoetunity.

Jun 10, 2020

The course is indubitably informative, and of great help in understanding the evolution of geopolitics as well has the historical context behind many of the present-day geopolitical equations.

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1 - 25 of 98 Reviews for Introduction to Contemporary Geopolitics

By Bert S

Jan 31, 2021

Excellent treatment of the subject from the perspective slightly different from the western world. Learned a lot as it organized scattered readings in geopolitics!!!

By Jaime R C C

Apr 16, 2020

Por favor, ofrezcan mas cursos de Geopolitica y relaciones internacionales, ahora aplicados a logistica o geoeconomia

By Luca O

Nov 19, 2020

This course has been a HUGE contribution to my understanding of an extremely articulated and complex subject, despite maybe more than a few improvement opportunities. Professor Skriba is confronted with a very hard task here, and the final result is an enriching experience.

The course is heavy-load, compared to many other I have completed on Coursera. Completion times are largely underestimated. I've left many of the interesting proposed reading for a future fruition, otherwise the effort would exceed my time budget.

A certain degree of patience in overcoming some difficulties is also required. Be prepared for that:

1) Topics and key concepts are sometimes presented in a not very clear way, with nonlinear threads and broken logical sequences. If you're not discouraged, though, most of your doubts will normally be clarified in subsequent videos and lectures. In some cases, you'll have to wait 'till the final video.

2) The spoken and written English can be a bit of a challenge to someone not used to non-native English speakers and writers.

3) Slides are not available. and some quizzes require precise and exhaustive conformity to the language used in the explanation, which, given the previous problem, poses an additional challenge. The only way I found to pass the tests has been to write down detailed notes, if not handwrite copies of entire slides. I wonder if any student has ever got a 100% marks in any of the quizzes: if this matters to you, this is probably not the right course.

4) Moreover, in case of a wrong answer, it is virtually impossible to recover the exact point in the explanation where the right answer is explained (unless maybe if you have the time to review all the videos).

5) Some quizzes seem to contain small mistakes. Such mistakes are generally reported in the forums, but no feedback is provided by any moderator, and the problems are apparently not being fixed.

6) A few broken links are present in the recommended readings sections, and a couple of external contributions mentioned in the videos are actually not available.

7) Finally, although I understand this is questionable, a few explanations seem to reflect biased views of some topics. Generally speaking, however, a variety of theories and approaches is presented in a fair and critical way.

If you are ready to face the difficulties, however, the reward is worth the effort. Four stars are well deserved, and I will be happy to follow another course by Professor Skriba, hoping these comments are useful. Grateful.

By George K T

May 3, 2020

Overall, this course is a highly recommended for an introduction into the realm of geopolitics.

Plus: Comprehensive review of key geopolitical theories and select case studies in contemporary world.

Minus: The orientation is overly Anglosaxon-centric. Russian worldview, in particular Chinese worldview, are interpreted mainly from the Anglosaxon lens which has inherent bias against other traditions unfamiliar to the narrow Anglosaxon mind.

By Nicolas A C S

Jun 16, 2020

As an introduction to geopolitics is perfect, one can begin with no previous knowledge (basic historical knowledge would be advisable) and learn so much about the field and its development through history, to the approaches used actually and to the main geopolitical actors and conflicts in the current world.

By Daniel R

May 31, 2020

Very good presentation & introduction to 'Contemporary Geopolitics'.

What I would include more would be the regional & national level, e.g. how can 'small countries' like Malaysia, Jordan or Switzerland define their international politics considering the Geopolitics of the 'big powers' (USA, China, Russia).

By Travis R

Dec 16, 2020

This course was information dense and has helped to shed light on a number of issues that occur today in Global Politics such as the middle eastern conflict.

By Sakura M

Jun 14, 2020

Well understanding what is geopolitics and that changed how to view the world around me!

By José s

Dec 11, 2020

Maybe is the best course on corsera! Amazing🤩😍

Very good for poltical sciences student

By Andrea T

Aug 1, 2020

Awsome course. The instructor was very good and his explanations were always clear.

By Sakib R S S

Jun 4, 2020

Great course, easy and in detail explanation to contemporary geopolitics!

By Kevin N

Nov 13, 2020

Very informative introduction to Contemporary Geopolitics.

By abdullah s

Dec 6, 2020

I definitely recommend it for those who work in politics.

By Li S Y M

Jul 26, 2020

I think the course was comprehensive in its description of geopolitics and followed a time-linear path while introducing new concepts, which was nice. I wish they'd bring in more guest speakers though, they were especially interesting.

By Jérôme P

Aug 1, 2020

Thank you for this interesting course about geopolitics. The reading section was also very helpful in order to get a more profound understanding of the various notions adressed in the videos.

By Frank Y

Oct 21, 2020

Very good in general. Some aspects are a little dry and don't go into as many details as I would like but the three case studies are very well done.

By Arvind P

Aug 10, 2020

Good content and great explanation.

but quizzes are tough and there are mistakes in answers to some questions

By Ian S

Jun 17, 2020

Very well delivered course. Thanks a lot. Lookingforward to exploring the topic of geopolitics further.

By Pedro L

Nov 13, 2020

Good lecturer and solid concepts, in my view a bit too theoretical concept, but very good.


Jul 17, 2020

Good comprehensive course

By Katie B

Oct 17, 2020

I learnt a lot, but found that the course needs to be edited significantly.

-The first few weeks are especially confusing and some of the slides from Week 9 would have been better in Week 1.

-At the beginning it would have been really helpful to know that GP is a subset of IR.

-Clearly define the different schools of GP thought and stick with the names you use for each term.

-There were numerous grammatical errors and a good edit would have fixed this.

-Consistent headings and the use of the same terms for the same concept would have helped immensely.

-I think the content is very informative and Andrei speaks clearly and in a well-modulated tone but his speaking notes also require editing to meet with English language conventions (or speak in your native language and have a translator).

-I enjoyed the readings except a few weeks were too long. 2hrs is a good time frame.

Overall I learnt a lot and am very glad that I did this course. With refining I would have given this course 5 stars.

By Mohamed A

Jan 9, 2021

The course was very valuable and I learnt a great deal of Knowledge. The Instructor knows the subject very well and has a very good way passing to the students.

Couple of advice.

a) The course is not subjective, it is an objective one. The answers are always the same unless the question changes, so when the student pass the course it is wise to facilitate by admin for them to see all the right answers in order to learn what he could not figure out.

b) The fill in the gap questions are not clear and are not something very important to notice during the lesson. It is a normal sentence that it is one word is omitted. So it is very difficult to get the word and fill in the gap. And the word is not increasing the knowledge of the student.

Finally I want to thank wholeheartedly the instructor and I am looking forward to joining any other course that he is teaching.

Thank you all again and May God save you from the COVID19.

By Robert S

Jun 1, 2020

This course is an excellent introduction to geopolitics and the lecturer Andrei Skriba presents it very clearly.

It tends to be presented from a USA-European view, especially the reference material, but that probably reflects more the way the field has developed. I did really appreciate the section on China, as much of that was new to me and gave me a more solid insight into that country’s position and concerns.

Overall, a fantastic course, but I did wish there was engagement from students in the Forum.

By Julio F F

Feb 28, 2021

I took the course to bring up to date my knowledge of Geopolitics. In that the course has been very gratifying. It has had the flexibility to allow other activities, professional and private, while studying. Possibly more Russian and Chinese authors could be mentioned and Africa and Latin America could be given greater time to give a better picture of the world situation. Dr. Skriba is very good as are his guest professors, and his command of English is quite good.