Politics of Energy in Eurasia


Course description

In this course, you will learn about the international political economy of energy production and transportation, with a focus on Russia, China and the states of Central Asia. The first session will be devoted to the history of geopolitics of natural resources, which emerged as an academic discipline in British and German scholarship of the late imperial period, and influenced real politics of resource colonialism. The second session will look at the relationship between Russia and Europe through the prism of oil and gas politics and will briefly touch on the history of oil exploration in the czarist empire, before moving on to Soviet and post-Soviet times.

Next, we will explore the role of the energy lobby in Russia’s domestic politics before moving to the analysis of the situation in hydrocarbon-rich Central Asia and the Trans Caspian region, which some analysts call the site of a new Great Game between the Anglo-American world, Russia and China. The fifth session will deal with Sino-Russian relations, China’s energy appetites and Russia’s growing dependency on China’s energy imports. The final session will focus on Russia’s involvement in the Middle East and Ukraine in the context of a Russian-American tug-of-war over the control of energy trade in the region.

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