Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Global Governance

Program Name/Specialization

Conflict and Security


Faculty of Science

First Advisor

David A. Welch

Advisor Role



The Central Asian energy system (CAES) was built during the Soviet period and designed without concern for what are today national borders. The resource sharing mechanism ensured the security of the CAES—reliable and stable energy supplies to meet the needs of both the people and the economy. However, following the breakup of the Soviet Union this mechanism came under pressure from emergent geopolitical and economic challenges such as the monetization of energy trade (oil products, gas and electricity) and tensions between domestic water and energy needs. Since the Central Asian energy sectors were initially designed to operate within a unified system, the management of such highly interdependent entities requires coordinated action by all relevant actors. Central Asian states’ particular energy policies, which stress self-reliance and self-control, threaten the overall security of the CAES.

The study suggests that the insecurity of the CAES can be most efficiently addressed through reinstating intra-Central Asian energy trade. The sustainability of the CAES, however, requires an effective regional energy governance mechanism. This research analyzes factors affecting the extent of multilateral cooperation in the gas and electric power sectors among Central Asian countries and with external customers within the framework of the stag-hunt game. Most importantly, it explores the potential collective benefits of, and major challenges for governance innovations to, improving security of the CAES within such institutions and programs as (a) the Central Asian Regional Economic Cooperation, (b) the Eurasian Economic Union, (c) the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, (d) the Commonwealth of Independent States, (e) the Central Asian Water–Energy Development Program promoted by the World Bank, and (f) the Regional Environmental Centres for Central Asia.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season