Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POL3156: Central Asian Politics

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

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

1-2. Introducing and imagining Central Asia: literature, travelogue and film.
3-6. History and historiography: before, during and after the Soviet Union / the making of modern Afghanistan.
7-10. Theories and approaches: transition / geopolitics / virtual politics / state formation.
11-20. Issues and cases: Identity, nationhood and modern clan politics / Gender and bride-kidnapping / Livelihoods and labour migration / Religion and political Islam / Sovereignty and regional cooperation / Water politics and the Aral Sea crisis / Intervention in Afghanistan since 911 / Peacebuilding in Tajikistan / Uzbekistan and the Andijon Uprising / Kyrgyzstan and the Tulip Revolution


Subject knowledge will be communicated in short talks, and developed through private study, reading review exercises, seminar discussions, presentations and assignments. Talks will introduce intellectual and historical contexts and draw on textual sources and cinematic representations as well as case studies as examples.

Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and teaching activity 4422 x 2 hour seminars.
Guided Independent study256A variety of private study tasks directed by module leader. This includes class preparation (@5 hours per week), presentation preparation (@20 hours), essay researching, drafting and writing (@2 x 30 hours), book review researching, drafting and writing (@ 20 hours), and various extra-curricular activities which will differ from year to year including special seminars and film showings.

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).


Other Learning Resources

Audio-Video: Central Asian cinema; Fiction and travel writing