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Critical geopolitics and school textbooks: The case of environment-conflict links in Germany

Ide, T.ORCID: 0000-0001-8401-2372 (2016) Critical geopolitics and school textbooks: The case of environment-conflict links in Germany. Political Geography, 55 . pp. 60-71.

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This study explores the conceptual and empirical utility of studying school textbooks from a critical geopolitics perspective. School textbooks bind together various discourses, modalities and genres and can reflect the dominant knowledge in a given society. They therefore have a high potential to reveal the citational practices resonating between the domains of formal, practical and popular geopolitics. Studying school textbooks can also enrich the literature on children's and young people's (political) geographies by analyzing how the political worldviews and agency of young people are shaped by teaching materials. Empirically, the study draws on a mix of quantitative and qualitative methods to study how environment-conflict links are textually and visually portrayed in German geography and civics textbooks. The results suggest that German school textbooks significantly reflect the depictions of environment-conflict links in political, media and (popular) science discourses and thus reveal crucial citational practices. Drawing on the environmental security literature, it is further argued that these textbooks convey problematic geographical imaginations: they overemphasize the risk of environmental conflicts, reflect ideas of spill-over effects threatening the global north, and portray people from the global south as irresponsible and threatening.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright: © 2016 Elsevier Ltd
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