2016-17 Winter Term, POL S 359 Lec B1
POLITICAL ECONOMY OF GLOBAL ENERGY SECURITY
Overview & Objectives:
The course critically studies the political economy and geopolitics of energy. It looks at why energy security has become a focal point of world politics in recent years, with the United States, China and all the major world powers seeking a stable supply to sustain their economic growth; what has caused the global energy prices to be so volatile; and how global warming has challenged the ways of fossil energy extraction and usage.
The class will treat such topics mainly through lectures, with some formats to facilitate some discussions and debates among students. The first part of the course focuses on the broader picture of the political economy of global energy security. The second part of the course studies key players involved, especially the United States, China and Russia. The third part of the course deals with Canada’s energy security policy and the related debates on diversification of energy market to Asia.
One of POL S 261 (or 260) or consent of department. Students without the course prerequisite should speak with the instructor before registering. At the request of an instructor, the Department may cancel your registration if you do not have the required course prerequisites. Policy about course outlines, grading and related matters can be found in Section 23.4(2) of the University Calendar.
Required reading: Daniel Yergin, The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World, Penguin Press, 2011 – Available at the U of A Bookstore. Other required readings, references and learning materials are in the weekly reading list, and will be introduced throughout the term if necessary.
Recommended reading: Daniel Yergin, The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power, Free Press 2009 (1991) - Available at the U of A Bookstore. This book should be read as much as possible during the term. Other recommended references and learning materials, if necessary, will be introduced to students throughout the term.
Requirements and evaluation:
10% - Attendance - This is an intensive course with all the sessions closely linked so attendance of every class is required.
30% - Midterm Exam on February 16, 2017
30% - Term Paper – around 2,500 words on one of the following topics, due on March 30, 2017 in class.
- A case study focusing on a major country, an organization or a regime related to the political economy of global energy security.
- An analytical paper focusing on a major theme of the course, such as energy security, resource conflicts, foreign policy objectives for energy supply, etc.
- A comprehensive study of Canada’s energy security policy.
30% - Final Exam, scheduled on April 26 (tentatively). If a deferred exam is required, details shall be worked out between the instructor and the student according to Section 23.5.6 of the University Calendar.