Toal Profile Small SizeDr Gerard Toal (Gearóid Ó Tuathail) writes about US foreign policy, geopolitics, and conflict regions. A Professor of Government and International Affairs at Virginia Tech’s campus in the Washington DC metro area (National Capital Region) located in Old Town  Alexandria, he has a Ph D in Political Geography from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. Growing up in an Irish border region during ‘the Troubles,’ he learned firsthand about the power of nationalism, geography and place. He is still studying these subjects. For an account of how ‘the border’ shaped his research, see his interview on the website Exploring Geopolitics.


Ph.D. Political Geography, Maxwell School, Syracuse University, 1989.

MA, Geography, University of Illinois, 1984.

BA (First Class Honors), History and Geography, National University of Ireland, 1982.

A Little More Detail

Toal’s research is featured in the book Key Thinkers in Space and Place (Sage, second edition, 2010). Click here for Euan Hague’s essay on Gerard Toal.

Toal serves as an Associate Editor of Geopolitics and Eurasian Geography and Economics, and on the editorial board member of Political Geography and Nationalities Papers. In the past he held fellowships at the Copenhagen Peace Research Institute, and the Center for International Studies at the University of Southern California. In 2005 he testified before the United States Congress on political developments in Bosnia-Herzegovina.


ToalPhDcoursesToal’s research informs his teaching at Virginia Tech’s School of Public and International Affairs in Alexandria. The top set of courses are for Ph D students, the bottom four survey courses for Masters students.ToalMastersCourses