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IR5510   Central Asia in World Order

Academic year(s): 2023-2024

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 30

ECTS credits : 15

Level : SCQF level 11

Semester: 1

Planned timetable: Thursday 1-3pm

Dramatically and unexpectedly, Central Asia was thrust to independence in 1991. Of all the Soviet republics, the five of Central Asia - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan - had been the largest net recipients of Soviet aid, had benefited most economically from the Soviet Union and had thus been the most reluctant to break from the Soviet empire. Once the path of independence was followed, each of these five states faced considerable ethnic, state, economic, social and foreign policy challenges. This course aims to analyse these nation- and state-building agendas, seeking to address critically some of the now widely held assumptions about this post-Soviet area. Moreover, located in one of the world's most strategic zones, between Russia, China and a troubled Middle East, Central Asia relies on its substantial human and natural resources in the renegotiation of its geopolitical status.

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 1 lecture and 1 tutorial.

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: 2,000 word Reflective Journal = 20%, 4,000 word Essay = 40%, Final Exam = 40%

Re-assessment: re-sit and/or re-submission


Module coordinator: Dr M Fumagalli

Intended learning outcomes

  • Acquire a firm understanding of the key developments in the domestic and international politics of the region since 1991
  • Critically engage with current scholarship on Central Asia and relate it to broader trends in IR
  • Be able to apply theoretical concepts and tools to empirical cases