Maps that map the mind: Abstraction of Geography by IR Discipline


  • Hakkı Ozan Karayiğit Department of Urban Policy Planning and Local Governments, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey


This study investigates the role of political maps in the didactics of the International Relations (IR) discipline within the higher education institutions of Turkey. Examining the syllabuses and textbooks of the Introduction to International Relations course in three distinctive universities – Bilkent University, Middle East Technical University (METU) and Hacettepe University, I argue that the discipline of International Relations (IR) supersedes the geography of lived spaces and renders spatial practices onto territorial boundaries. Based on textual analysis, this paper demonstrates how the anachronic conceptualization of the State through political maps homogenizes the world space. Exploring how the historical foundation of IR is constructed in the coursebooks, I critically engage with the territorial representations of IR space. The outcome of this intertextual analysis concludes how IR didactics makes it epistemologically difficult for the scholarship to comprehend the scale jumping of varying socio-spatial phenomena such as transnational (forced) migration.


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Mapping societies (edited by Edoardo Boria and Tania Rossetto)