003 - Geopolitical Constraints

Geographic Knowledge and Understanding

Geopolitical constraints on global interactions:

• Government and militia controls on personal freedoms to participate in global interactions.

• National trade restrictions, including protectionism and resource nationalism.


Groups - either formal (governments) or informal (militia) - have the power to control personal freedoms of a population and therefore their ability to participate in global interactions.


  • To have knowledge and understanding of geopolitical constraints on global interactions including government and militia controls on personal freedoms to participate in global interactions.

  • To have knowledge and understanding of national trade restrictions, including protectionism and resource nationalism.

Key Terminology

              • Personal Freedom

              • Social Media

              • Political Media/Communication

Define the key terms above by using the 'Useful Links' below:

Useful Links

Activity One - Watch - Geopolitical Controls

Before we start to investigate how specific governments and militia control the personal freedom of people we are going to watch an overview of which countries have the worst censorship.

      1. Write down which countries you think have the highest rates of censorship. Explain your answer.

      2. Now watch the YouTube clip and write down notes on which countries have the 'worst' censorship.

      3. Now use the article in the 'Useful Resource' box and write down why and how countries have increased censorship.

      4. How can people slip through the firewall that countries might have?

Activity Two - Detailed Examples - Geopolitical Controls

We can't look at the geopolitical constraints that countries place on their citizens without looking at China and North Korea. China is also one of our focus countries so you will be able to use what you learn here in other areas of the curriculum. Unfortunately the Chinese are unable to access my site as it is blocked! Why could that be? But Mr. Allaway's www.geographyalltheway.com slips through their fire wall...

      1. Create a detailed example of how China and North Korea control their people's access to information.

Useful Resources

Activity Three - Research - Militia Controls

You have now found out how countries can control the flow of information that people have access to and we are now going to look at how the militia does it. Remember the key focus is the restriction of people to participate in global interactions and that could be freedom of movement, flow of ideas, transfer of goods and freedom of voice etc. For this activity we are going to focus on South Sudan. As we will be watching a series of YouTube clip I would suggest you you collect a piece of A4 paper and a set of coloured pens.

Useful Resources

Faces of the SPLA

Upper Nile's Commanders

Independence Amid Violence

White Army on the Frontlines

Activity Four - Comprehension -Trade Restrictions

You have mind mapped, watch YouTube clips, interrogated sources so far for this syllabus point so we are now going to go old school and get out the textbook. As you read through pages 76 to 78 make notes on the following points that can restrict trade between countries.

                  • National Trade Restrictions

                  • Protectionism

                  • Resource Nationalism

Useful Resources

'Geography. Global Interactions. Study and Revision Guide.' by Oakes Pages 76-78

Activity Five - Detailed Example

Once you have the basic theory down it is time to relate this to a specific place. We are going to focus on Bolivia and investigate what they are doing to utilise their natural resource of gas. When creating a detailed example you need to include the following points.

      • How was Bolivia losing power as a nation-state?

      • What impact the erosion of power having on the country?

      • What has Bolivia done to manage globalisation?

      • What are the positives and negatives of the programme?

Exam Style Question

Using examples, explain how geopolitical constraints can control the ability of a population to participate in global interactions. [12 marks]

This lesson was development in collaboration with Richard Allaway from geographyalltheway. For more resources please visit www.geographyalltheway.com