Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POL3156: Central Asian Politics

This module descriptor refers to the 2016/7 academic year.


NQF Level 6
Credits 30 ECTS Value 15
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 1 (11 weeks) and term 2 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Professor John Heathershaw (Lecturer)





Available via distance learning


Central Asia is a fascinating region of the world which is at the centre of many of the economic, environmental and security conundrums of contemporary world politics.  It is both modern and deeply connected to international and global politics in ways that are often unexpected.  This module will introduce you to Central Asia politics through an inter-disciplinary study of its politics and international relations. You will explore the historical emergence of Central Asia and the principal schools of thought with respect to understanding its politics. In the second half you will consider issues of contemporary Central Asian politics through issues, case studies and key events. These include the vanishing of the Aral Sea, the rise of ‘bride kidnapping’ in post-Soviet Central Asia, the nature of Islamism in Uzbekistan, protest movements in Kyrgyzstan, energy politics in Kazakhstan, and western intervention and the war in Afghanistan.  The module draws on films and non-academic literature as well as introducing you to the key academic texts in the study of Central Asian politics. No prior knowledge of the region is assumed.

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