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Module Code: POU44281

Module Name: Topics in Political Science 1 - The Politics of Energy 2024-25

  • ECTS Weighting: 5
  • Semester/Term Taught: Semester 1
  • Contact Hours:
  • Module Personnel: Dr Curran Flynn

Learning Outcomes

 On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
· Explain the historical, economic, and political perspectives of energy and critically examine the politics of energy.
· Evaluate the economic strategies and effects of energy production on their host states.
· Critically reflect upon the key issues of contemporary global energy politics and their implications for different regions and countries.
· Examine the role of intergovernmental organizations as well as state and non-state actors.
· Debate the use and need for alternative energy sources.
· Elaborate on possible future trends in the international politics of energy

Module Learning Aims

 The module aims to allow students to analyze the politics of energy and its impact on contemporary society. The module gives students a thorough understanding of the historical context of energy use and cultivation. Students will interpret the effects of economic production of energy through the lens of economics and foreign policy. Students will apply the knowledge learned to contemporary events to understand the implications of these events on contemporary global energy politics and their impact of different regions and countries. Students will evaluate the need for renewable energy and the implications of its adoption on the global economy and international relations.

Module Content

The Politics of Energy is an in-depth and comprehensive course that explores the intricate relationship between energy resources and international relations. The course explores the historical evolution of energy use from the 19th to the 21st centuries, the phenomenon of the “resource curse”, the creation and management of Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs), how energy resources have been utilized as a coercive instrument in shaping foreign policy decisions, whether energy suppliers are more aggressive militarily, the effectiveness, implications and ethical considerations of energy-related sanctions, the rapid rise of energy demand in Asian economies, the role of nuclear power in energy production and its influence on international relations, and an exploration of the global shift towards renewable energy sources. Students will gain a profound understanding of how energy resources have shaped the dynamics of power, conflicts, and cooperation among nations.

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Indicative Readings

· Högselius, Per. (2018). Energy and Geopolitics, London: Routledge.
· Van De Graaf, This and Benjamin K. Sovacool. (2020). Global Energy Politics Cambridge: Polity Press


Assessment Details

20% Participation and Presentation (Throughout the Term)
30% Interactive Project (Last week of Class)
50% Final Exam

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