Rethinking Central Asian Security CEES5062

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This subject offers an advanced introduction to the dynamics of security in post-Soviet Central Asia.


1 x 2-hour seminar per week over 10 weeks

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses






Students will be required to write a 4500-5000 words essay. A list of five essay questions will be distributed to the class during the course's first session.



In accordance with the University's Code of Assessment reassessments are normally set for all courses which do not contribute to the honours classifications. For non honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students, and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions are listed below in this box.

Course Aims

This course aims to offer a fresh approach to the major forces instrumental in the shaping of the contemporary security dynamics in post-Soviet Central Asia. Equal attention will be devoted here to the study and discussion of traditional and non-traditional threats to the security of both regimes and population in Central Asia. To this end, the course's structure is organised around two main clusters of topics.

The course's first segment (weeks 2-6) looks at the dynamics of traditional security, by focussing its attention on:

1) military issues (the region's experience with civil war and asymmetrical warfare; de-nuclearisation)

2) energy issues, with particular reference to hydrocarbon products.

The course's second segment (weeks 7-10), in turn, shifts its attention on the security of the wider Central Asian populations, by focussing on the rise of non-traditional threats in the region (environmental issues, climate change, hydropolitics, and drug trafficking).

Students will be given the opportunity to examine and discuss the evolution of the principal constituents of Central Asian security since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the achievement of independence.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

1. apply theoretical approaches to the study of security dynamics in post-Soviet Central Asia;

2. assess the impact that traditional security threats had on state stability in Central Asia;

3. assess the impact the non-traditional security threats on state stability and population's welfare in Central Asia;

4. evaluate the influence exerted by foreign actors (primarily, yet not exclusively, states) upon the evolution of security dynamics in Central Asia;

5. establish clear linkages between the traditional and non-traditional facets of regional security;

6. acquire a sophisticated and multi-layered understanding of the principal constituents of the region's security balance.

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.