Global Energy Politics POLITIC4168

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course focuses on the global politics of energy. It introduces students to the dilemmas and trade-offs involved in efforts to transform national and global energy systems and provides them with a framework for critically analysing the role of political power in energy transitions.


This course may not be running this year. For further information please check the Politics and IR Moodle page or contact the subject directly.

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry requirements to Honours Politics or International Relations.

Excluded Courses



It is recommended that students do not take Global Environmental Politics (POLITIC4007) at the same time as this course.




Knowledge and problem-solving exercises (20%)

Briefing, 1500 words (30%)

Essay, 2500 words (50%)

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses


Course Aims

This course has two central aims. First, it aims to help participants develop a working knowledge of global energy politics - how national energy systems are interlinked with each other and the complex political and policy challenges involved in ensuring secure, sustainable and affordable access to sufficient energy supplies for all. Participants will develop a working knowledge of the political economy of energy, and the role of frames and narratives in shaping energy politics and policy. Second, it provides participants with a framework for thinking both pragmatically and critically about the politics of energy. This will involve both the analysis of trade-offs, and how (geo-) political power operates in how energy is produced, transported and consumed around the globe.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Demonstrate knowledge of the political economy and geography of different sources of energy

■ Examine the interactions between political, economic, environmental and technical aspects of energy systems

■ Interpret a range of quantitative and qualitative data and social research findings regarding national and global energy systems

■ Analyse the dilemmas and trade-offs involved in energy politics

■ Critically evaluate the role of power in shaping energy policy and politics

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.