• Offered by Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Middle Eastern & Central Asian Studies
  • Areas of interest Arab and Islamic Studies

Energy – in the form of oil and gas – is the most plentiful and valuable natural resource of the Caspian Sea and its vicinity. The opening up of the region’s hydrocarbon reserves represents one of the most significant consequences of the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991. Potential benefits from energy development to national and commercial entities are enormous, but so are the challenges stemming from the expansion of global economy, international and intra-regional competition, and the internal political dynamics of the Caspian states. The region is at the crossroads: from its current volatile situation, it could evolve either as an area of crisis, or as a zone of stability. The dynamics of energy development will be crucial for determining the actual outcome.

The course will address the politics of hydrocarbons in the Caucasus and Central Asia as a security problem. While substantial attention will be paid to the traditional balance-of-power contest involving external states, such as Russia, the USA, China, Turkey, and Iran, it will attempt to go beyond pure geopolitics and address broader questions: Is energy development making conflict more or less likely in the region? What will be the domestic impact of the expected hydrocarbon boom? What are the implications for the human and natural environment?

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. form a thorough understanding of political and economic problems facing post-Soviet states in Central Asia and the Caucasus;
  2. examine geostrategic, economic and technical aspects of energy production and transportation in the Caspian basin;
  3. gain a comprehensive picture of the interaction of the nation-states, domestic actors, and international oil and gas companies in the region;
  4. assess the conflict potential associated with hydrocarbon and pipeline politics and make projections for the future; and
  5. present analytical findings in a cogent manner.

Indicative Assessment

  1. 5,000 word essay (50) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  2. 3-hour final examination (40) [LO 1,3,4,5]
  3. Strategic role play (10) [LO 4]

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

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Workload

130 hours of total student learning time made up from: a) 24 hours of seminars; and b) 106 hours of online activities, practice exercises, readings and assessment over 12 weeks

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed MEAS4109.

Prescribed Texts

The course uses an electronic reading brick.

Preliminary Reading

  • Michael T. Klare. Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet. The New Geopolitics of Energy. New York: Metropolitan Books, 2008.
  • Richard M. Auty and Indra de Soysa, eds. Energy, Wealth and Governance in the Caucasus and Central Asia. London: Routledge, 2006.
  • Sergey S. Zhiltsov, Igor S. Zonn, Andrey G. Kostianoy, eds. Oil and Gas Pipelines in the Black-Caspian Seas Region. Switzerland: Springer, 2016.

Fees

Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
1
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

Units EFTSL
6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $4050
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $5760
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4448 22 Feb 2021 01 Mar 2021 31 Mar 2021 28 May 2021 In Person N/A

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