Leonhardt van Efferink
Maastricht University / Maastricht Summer School
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Between 2010 and 2019, I wrote my PhD thesis on Geopolitics at Royal Holloway. My thesis "Germany's ‘War on Terror' : Exploring Frames and Imaginations in Practical and Popular Geopolitics" investigates the framing of Germany's military presence in Afghanistan. More specifically, the thesis analyses how the news magazine Der Spiegel and five political parties framed four aspects of Germany's ISAF mission (2002-2014). These aspects are Will to Intervene, Militarisation of Intervention, Capacity to Intervene and Victims during Intervention. These so-called geopolitical frame categories draw on the academic literature on geopolitics, geography, IR, political studies and Germany. My methodology to identify, interpret and analyse geopolitical frames reflects a strong interest in both critical geopolitics and media studies. It combines geopolitical concepts such as national identity, national power and national security with constructivist and multimodal methods to study framing.

In 2012, the Geographical Journal published my article "Polar Partners or Poles Apart? On the discourses of two US think tanks on Russia's presence in the ‘High North’." The article examines the differences between Brookings Institution and Heritage Foundation regarding their representations of the Arctic, with a focus on Russia's regional involvement. I also wrote the article about Geopolitics in the Oxford Bibliographies. It contains reviews of over 150 publications in English, French, German and Dutch. Moreover, I am Founding Editor of Exploring Geopolitics. This website hosts 200+ contributions by 130+ scholars from 25+ countries. These scholars offer valuable insights into geopolitical approaches, geopolitical concepts and geopolitical trends. My article "The Definition of Geopolitics – The Classical, French and Critical Traditions" has been among the most read contributions since I started the website in 2009.