Energy Policy in the Asia-Pacific

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FHEQ Level

Module overview

The Asia-Pacific plays a critical role in today’s global energy markets. The pan-region (generally considered to consist of East Asia, Southeast Asia, Australasia and the Pacific Coast of the Americas) is home to both the world’s largest energy consumers and some of its biggest producers. Whether it is oil, gas, coal, nuclear or renewables: what happens in the Asia-Pacific directly affects the cost, availability and governance of energy elsewhere. This module introduces students to energy policies in this region. It considers energy markets and developments in supply and demand; domestic policy landscapes with regards to energy sources and energy infrastructure; the challenge of energy security and the return of geopolitics; and low-carbon pathways to address the Asia-Pacific's contribution to global climate change. The module draws on examples of energy policy and regulation in China, Japan, ASEAN member states and Australia. In addition, it investigates examples of regional energy cooperation (for example in the GMS or through APEC) as well as conflict (for example energy trade disputes between China and the U.S. or territorial disputes in the South China Sea).

Indicative module overview

  1. Energy Policy and Energy Markets in the Asia-Pacific – Analysing Recent Trends
  2. China’s Energy Policy Landscape
  3. Rising China, Declining US? – Energy Competition between the Superpowers
  4. Japanese Energy Policy after Fukushima
  5. Conflict or Cooperation? – Energy and Resource Disputes in the East and South China Seas
  6. Reading Week
  7. Energy Policy and Market Integration in the Greater Mekong Subregion
  8. Between Energy Security and Climate Change – Indonesia and the Philippines
  9. Energizing Cities in the Asia-Pacific – Singapore to San Francisco
  10. Sustainable Energy and Climate Adaptation in Pacific Island States
  11. An Emerging Energy Superpower? – Australia’s Role in the Asia-Pacific

This module is open to all Postgraduate Taught Students at SOAS. Lectures will take place during the day.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of the module students should be able to:

  • understand the key energy challenges facing countries in the Asia-Pacific;
  • understand the energy policies that have been pursued by individual countries, sub-regional groups (e.g. ASEAN) and within a wider pan-regional context;
  • understand the political, economic and environmental implications of energy policy decisions taken in the Asia-Pacific;
  • develop a critical perspective of energy policy in the region;
  • determine potential policy responses required to govern energy in the Asia-Pacific in the future.


The module will be taught over 10 weeks with 2 hour long Seminars

Method of assessment

  • Assessment one (2000 words): 50%
  • Unseen written examination: 50%


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules