Academic year
2020/2021 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
LT0214 (AF:305342 AR:168441)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Bachelor's Degree Programme
Educational sector code
1st Semester
Course year
Go to Moodle page
The course is integral part of the training offer of the Bachelor's degree programme in "Language, culture and society of Asia and Mediterranean Africa", aimed at providing students with a solid understanding of the contemporary dynamics of Eurasian space, in political, economic and social fields.
Specifically, the course aims to offer a comprehensive picture of the contemporary history of the Republic of Azerbaijan, with particular reference to the phase following the acquisition of independence from the Soviet Union. Moreover, through the analysis of Azerbaijan's foreign policy and economic development strategies, the course aims not only to provide the student with the tools to understand the peculiar country's posture in the post-Soviet space, but also to offer a privileged angle for the appraisal of the regional policies pursued by the main actors active in the Eurasian space - from the United States to the European Union, from Russia to Turkey and Iran.
Students are expected to acquire the critical tools necessary for understanding and evaluating Azerbaijan's foreign and energy policy strategies, in the broader context of the post-soviet evolution of the Caspian-Caucasian area and of the post-bipolar transition in the Eurasian space.
Through the prism of Azerbaijan's foreign and energy policies, the course aims to provide students with critical tools to appraise and interpret the contemporary dynamics shaping international relations. Particular relevance will be given to the phenomenon of regionalization of the international system and to the resulting change of scale in international relations, which are essential in order to appraise the systemic weight of the Caucasian area. At the same time, the student will also acquire the tools to understand the aims and means of the regional strategies of the main actors who project their influence on the Eurasian scenario.
Based on the analysis of the Azerbaijani energy development strategies, the course will provide the student with the essential theoretical features of the Energy Politics.The appraisal of aims and means guiding and shaping Baku's choices in the extraction and transportation sectors, together with the analysis of the dynamics presiding over regional inter-state cooperation, will provide the student with the basic parameters for the evaluation of the energy security strategies of the main importers of Eurasian space – in particular the European Union's ones
Moreover the course, with a view to introduce the dynamics which led to the outbreak and the subsequent sine die protraction of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, will provide students with the essential features of the theories of Nationalism and Conflict Analysis. The student is thus expected to acquire the critical tools necessary to understand and evaluate the peculiarities of the so called "Protracted conflicts", in both juridic and political-diplomatic terms – i.e. with a reference to the relations between the belligerent parties as well as between the latter and the regional powers.
Through the organization of working groups for the preparation and presentation of a research work, the course aims also at providing the student with: (a) basic methodological tools for the analysis of foreign policy and for writing an essay; (b) skills in the selction and use of primary and secondary sources; (c) communication skills and ability to work in groups. Finally, through interactive lessons – based upon the commentary of newspaper articles and/or scientific essays pertaining to the topics of teaching – the course aims at stimulating students' critical thinking, judgment capabilities and communication skills.
Basic knowledge of contemporary history of non-European countries.
The course is divided into five modules:
1) Introduction to the geopolitics of Azerbaijan and Caucasian-Caspian area.
The module is aimed at assessing the impact of geo-physical and human factors on the risk/opportunity perceptions of the national political and economic decision-makers and, consequently, on Azerbaijan's foreign policy strategies.
2) Post-soviet nation- and state-building processes.
The module is introduced by the appraisal of the Soviet legacy in social, identity, political-institutional and economic terms. It will focus on the parameters shaping the nation- and state-building processes in the period immediately following the Soviet Union dissolution.
3) The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Based upon the Conflict Analysis categories, the module will introduce the roots and trends of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, both in its identity and in its strategic dimension.The appraisal of the dynamics of the open war period will be followed by the evaluation of the diplomatic clash and of the negotiating stalemate that resulted in the sine die protraction of the conflict.
4) The revival of the energy sector.
Based upon the Energy Politics categories, the guidelines of Azerbaijani energy strategy and the mechanisms aimed at the protection of the national “energy security” will be introduced. The module will mainly focus on the strategies that have presided over the re-launch of the sector in the 1990s, in the broader framework of the regional competition for influence involving great and middle powers projected towards the Caucasian-Caspian chessboard – i.e. the United States, Russia, Turkey, and Iran.
5) Azerbaijan's “balanced foreign policy” course and trans-regional trends.
Appraisal of the "economization" of Azerbaijani foreign policy, with particular reference to the “security provider” posture taken on through active participation and support ensured to the EU supply diversification strategies. Consistently with the Azerbaijan's “balanced foreign policy” course, the module will also focus on the growing trans-regional dimension of Baku's investments and infrastructural policies as well as on the regionalization trends promoted by the country.
Teaching material and additional readings will be made available during the course on the Moodle platform.
The verification of learning takes place in two complementary ways.
During the course, consistently with a continuous evaluation method based on participation in the discussion sessions, the student is called to take an active part in the analysis of the materials made available by the teacher, demonstrating its skills in critical processing of the informations and in communication. In the same perspective, the student will also be involved in team works aimed at the writing and presentation of a short essay on the topics covered by the course.
At the end of the course the student will hold a final oral exam.
Frontal lessons, interactive lessons, team works.
Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 20/04/2020