© 2019

Aligning Geopolitics, Humanitarian Action and Geography in Times of Conflict

  • Pursues an interdisciplinary approach to geography, geopolitics, development and humanitarian action

  • Especially caters to students and practitioners, having been developed on the basis of input from their questions and experience

  • Includes exercises and questions, as well as sections for autonomous student learning

  • Helps the reader gain a holistic perspective on interdisciplinary issues


Part of the Key Challenges in Geography book series (KCHGE)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Gerry O’Reilly
    Pages 1-4
  3. Conflict and Power

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 5-7
    2. Gerry O’Reilly
      Pages 9-27
    3. Gerry O’Reilly
      Pages 59-89
    4. Gerry O’Reilly
      Pages 91-113
  4. Humanitarian Action: Development Concepts

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 115-117
    2. Gerry O’Reilly
      Pages 119-140
    3. Gerry O’Reilly
      Pages 141-158
    4. Gerry O’Reilly
      Pages 159-187
  5. Geopolitics and Global Governance

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 189-190
    2. Gerry O’Reilly
      Pages 191-226
  6. Conclusions and Further Learning

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 227-227
    2. Gerry O’Reilly
      Pages 229-234
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 255-262

About this book


This textbook offers valuable insights into the nexus between geography, geopolitics, and humanitarian action. It elucidates concepts regarding conflict and power, as well as the role of the state and the international community in mitigating and preventing violence and war. Here the material and non-material, existential or imagined reasons for conflict are deconstructed, ranging from land and resource grabs to Utopian ideals that can degenerate into dystopias, as with Daesh’s caliphate in Syria and Iraq. In turn, the issues discussed range from the local to wider national and global levels, as do their resolution mechanisms. Due to insecurities, the impacts of globalization, divisive nationalistic and isolationist reactions emerging in some democracies including the USA, the UK’s Brexit stress, and the ominous rise of populist parties across continental Europe (from France and the Netherlands to the Visegrád Group, the Balkans, and Greece), citizen fatigue has become increasingly evident, reflected in ever-growing socio-political malaise and violence.

As the impact of any humanitarian disaster is proportional to the level of development of the area affected, concepts and categories of humanitarian action are explored, along with development issues at their core, especially in the Global South. Broadly speaking, humanitarian disasters fall into the categories of natural, human-made, technological, or complex; here, however, the focus is on human-made crises. Attempts at greater regulation, national and international organization and multilateralism to prevent violent conflicts, as well as enhanced responses to humanitarian emergencies, need to be supported now more than ever before.

This textbook will appeal to graduate and upper undergraduate students and practitioners in the fields of geography, geopolitics, humanitarian action and geographies of conflict and war. In addition to the main content, it includes exercises, questions and sections for autonomous student learning.


Conflict and Power Geopolitics textbook Geographies of Conflicts Development Studies International Law International Relations Role of the state and International Community Mitigation and Prevention of Violence and War Daesh’s Calafat Humanitarian Disasters Human-made Crises Nationalism Humanitarian action textbook

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.School of History and Geography, St. Patrick’s CampusDublin City UniversityDublinIreland

About the authors

Gerry O'Reilly is an Associate Professor of Geography at Dublin City University (DCU), with research interests in geopolitics, development, and political-economic and cultural geography. His teaching focuses on Geopolitics and Humanitarian Action, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and Spaces of Memory. Before joining the DCU in 1997, he held lectureship and research posts at University College Dublin and the Universities of Durham, Tunis, and Algeria-Annaba, and served as a Visiting Professor at Ohio State University, Columbus. Regarding Humanitarian Action and Geopolitics and as a Faculty member of ECHO (EU Humanitarian Office) - NOHA (Network on Humanitarian Action), he was an Erasmus Mundus Visiting Fellow at Western Cape University, RSA (2009), Toronto York University (2008) and Columbia University, NY (2007). Gerry is currently Vice President of EUROGEO - EAG (European Association of Geographers).

Bibliographic information