BiographyI am the director of the International Studies Program at Utah State University. Previously I was a Professor of Geography at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Penn State University. I am a geographer by training and am interested in the connection between global and historic processes of the rise and fall of great powers and the experiences of people in particular places in the world. My recent book Geopolitical Constructs: The Mulberry Harbours, World War Two, and the Making of a Militarized Transatlantic (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016) explored this idea.
I am co-editor of the international journals Geopolitics and Indian Ocean Economic and Political Review, published by the Research Institute for Indian Ocean Economies, Yunnan University of Finance and Economics.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
Along with my research I am author of two textbooks. Introduction to Geopolitics and Political Geography: World-Economy, Nation-State, and Locality. I have used the concepts in the Introduction to Geopolitics textbook to create a public website called Aggies Geopolitical Observatory http://chass.usu.edu/aggiesgo/. The website allows my USU students to develop the ability to interpret ongoing current events that are intelligible to the general public.
My current research focus is upon the interaction of economic and political processes in great power transitions. In other words, how and why did Britain decline as a great power and lose its empire, and how did the United States become the global power? I am especially interested in the connection between war and economics in the fall of Britain and the rise of the US. The same questions can be asked of contemporary US-China dynamics.
Previously, I have studied the geopolitics of the War on Terror and before that hate crimes, hate groups, and the geography of the Nazi party vote in Weimar Germany.
I can't seem to stop reading about World War Two. Yes, it's a research interest, but also growing up in England in the 1970's and 1980's popular culture and national identity was dominated by the war - and still is. Going to school in Dover, Kent meant that I was living in a post-war landscape. Actually many wars from the Roman invasion to the current War on Terror. So, I study the topic that created the social landscape I grew up in.
I watch too much English soccer and support Newcastle United. I also like to hike in the mountains of northern Utah.