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Geopolitics of Energy (Module)

Module description

The module will examine energy in international relations in four parts. First, a brief overview of the history of hydrocarbons will familiarise students with how modern energy supplies developed in the past two centuries. During the first two sessions of the module, students will also acquire conceptual and empirical understanding of energy value chains.

Next, the module will devote three sessions to energy security as a key perspective in the studies of energy resources. After familiarising students with the theoretical aspects of energy security, the focus will be on several distinct cases examining both the supply and the demand-side of energy security on a global scale. Such cases will include: the energy dilemmas between energy-rich Russia/Eurasia and hydrocarbon-poor EU; the rising role of China and Asia in global energy demand and their pursuit of energy security; and the evolution of energy geopolitics between the oil-rich Persian Gulf region and the US.

The third part of the module will dedicate two sessions to the link between energy and development. The focus of the first session will be on the literature examining the link between resource wealth and development, while the second session will examine resource nationalism and its historical evolution. The fourth part of the module will look specifically at key challenges faced with respect to energy in a carbon-constrained world. One session will be devoted to the study between energy and climate change, while another session will look at technological progress and its implications for traditional and non-traditional energy supplies.

The final (tenth) session of the module will examine a range of energy scenarios developed by distinct international and research institutions. Class discussion will focus on the geopolitical consequences of contemporary energy transitions. 

*Please note that although all module information is correct for the 2018/19 academic year, it is subject to change for future academic years.

Staff information

Dr Adnan Vatansever

Teaching pattern

One hour lecture, one hour seminar over ten weeks

Module assessment - more information

Group work on 2,000 words policy memorandum (30%); 2,500-word academic essay (60%); seminar participation (10%)

Key information

Module code 6YYR0010

Credit level 6

Assessment coursework

Credit value 15

Semester Semester 2 (spring)

Study abroad module Yes