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The Changing Geopolitics of Energy


Admission requirements

There are no prerequisites for the class, but some background in international political economy and international relations is helpful.


Energy has long been a major factor in the formulation of national strategies, the exercise of national power, and in shaping international politics and security. Consistent access to energy resources has also been one of the major factors of economic success and development. Securing access and an affordable price has driven and continues to drive global competition among the greatest energy consuming powers. Energy producers, on the other hand, have attempted to leverage their energy power to achieve domestic and/or international political and developmental aims.
This inter-disciplinary course examines energy from the perspective of companies, governments, and global community, in trying to understand how competition and, at times, cooperation for access and distribution of energy resources around the globe shapes the changing geopolitics of energy. The course is divided into three parts: 1) Understanding Energy: Existing Energy Systems, 2) Geopolitics of Energy, and 3) Energy and the Future.

Course objectives

Five pursuits define the course. Students can expect to:
1. gain a greater understanding of the energy security concerns of producer and consumer countries;
2. identify and analyse how countries have altered their foreign policies, domestic efforts, and military strategies in light of such concerns;
3. gain a greater knowledge of and understanding of actors and institutions that have shaped the international political economy of energy; including states, firms, international organizations, and civil society actors, among others
4. examine shifting trends in the energy realm, with a major focus on the unconventional revolution and the global energy transition; and
5. anticipate new patterns and structural shifts in the international political economy of energy in light of these trends.


The timetable is available on the website.

Mode of instruction

Most classes are in seminar format with short lectures and ample discussion of the readings. A few class discussions are based on concrete case-studies and scenario games.

Course Load

Total Course Load:
10 ECs x 28 hours = 280 hours

  • Attending lectures: 12 lectures x 2 hours = 24 hours

  • Reading assigned texts: c. 600 pages at 5 pages/hour = 120 hours

  • Mid-term class memos and presentations: 60 hours

  • Final research papers (including designing, conducting research, and writing-up): 76 hours

Assessment method

There are two marked assignments to be submitted during the course and one in-class presentation:
1. Current Affairs Memo: (1,200 words, +/- 10%), along with an in-class Presentation of the Memo
2. Final Research Paper: (3,000-4000 words, excluding footnotes and bibliography).


Participation (10%); In-Class Presentations (20%); Current Affairs Memo (20%); Final Papers (50%).
Grading Policy: LU guidelines for grading.




  • If the End Grade is insufficient (lower than a 6.0), or the Final Paper is lower than 5.5, there is a possibility of retaking the 50% of the Final Paper. No resit for the Current Affairs Memo is possible.

  • Please note that if the Resit of the Final Paper grade is lower than 5.5, you will not pass the course, regardless of the Current Affairs Memo grade.

inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


Reading list

The syllabus for this course will be uploaded onto Blackboard several weeks before the start of the semester. Links to sources for the required readings each week will be provided on Blackboard.

The booktitles and / or syllabi to be used in the course, where it can be purchased and how this literature should be studied beforehand.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


Dr Morena Skalamera


Not applicable