DHP D264: Geopolitics of Energy in Eurasia
This course deals with the human impact of geopolitical and economic changes in Eurasia from the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 to present. Since the supply of energy for the rapid industrialization of large societies in Eurasia is so important, the course will focus on the issues related to the safe production, distribution and consumption of oil, gas and other fuels for the rapid modernization of Eurasian societies. Since this development process is so large as in the case of the industrializations of China and India and the economic recovery of Russia after 1991, political disorder in the center of Eurasia over energy matters can have an impact much larger than a struggle over national boundaries. Evidence for considering a larger framework for understanding the impact of energy struggles in the center of Eurasia is certainly available in the case of the conflict in Syria where the participation of United States and Russian troops as opposing forces is quite clear. It is also possible to link Syrian battles with other military engagements in the region from Yemen to Afghanistan to reinforce an already established strategic importance of the lands between the Suez Canal and the eastern borders of India where the discovery and production of large oil and gas fields have added a new dimension to the political attraction of this region for external powers.
Competition over the distribution of critical energy resources for development of large and small societies in Eurasia produces two additional subjects that are part of Diplomacy 264. The first is the creation of a powerful maritime structure that provides the energy supply for the large Indo/Pacific emerging modern industries in Indian and China. Second, we will note the growth of a new subsection of Indo/Pacific economy that results from the conjunction of the ability of tankers to navigate on a year-round basis the northern Artic routes for tankers carrying Russian fuels to the Northwest Pacific. Here the consumption demands for fuel for Japan, South Korea and Taiwan form the basis of a Northwestern energy hub. The next important event we will examine is the technological innovations associated with the spectacular growth of LNG, and how this energy project stimulates the growth of a new Asia/Pacific economy. The course will end with an analysis of supranational energy issues such as the development of global LNG markets and the innovations central to reducing pollution and handling the problems of climate change.