Dr Wojciech Ostrowski
I'm part of
MA Course Leader: Energy and Environmental Change
PhD in International Relations (University of St Andrews); MSc by Research in Politics (University of Edinburgh); MA in International Relations (University of Kent at Canterbury); BA in History and Politics (Queen Mary, University of London)
Wojciech joined the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Westminster in 2016. Prior to that (2010-2015), he was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in International Politics of Energy and Mineral Resources at the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy, University of Dundee; Research Fellow in Energy Security in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Westminster and a Visiting Research Fellow in L’Institut d'Économie et de Politique de l'Énergie, University of Grenoble.
His research concentrates on the areas of energy security, political economy of resources and international relations with a regional focus on Central Asia and Eastern Europe. He is an author of Politics and Oil in Kazakhstan (Routledge 2010 and 2011), and an author and co-editor of Global Resources: Conflict and Cooperation (Palgrave 2013) and Central and Eastern European Energy Security (Forthcoming Routledge 2017).
He has developed and led BA and MA modules and a MoD short course on the global and regional politics of energy and environmental change.
BA, MA, Short Course Teaching
I lead the following modules:
Global Politics of Energy and Environmental Change, MA level
Regional Dimensions of Energy Security, MA level
Dissertation and Methods, MA level
Global Political Economy, 2nd year BA module
Global Energy Politics, MoD Short Course
My research concentrates on the area of energy security, political economy of resources, and international relations with a regional focus on Central Asia. I also have research interests in historical institutionalism. The key themes I have been developing in my research are as follow:
- The politics of the National Oil Companies
- The impact of the new consumers on the global energy map
- Energy poverty and technology
POLITICAL ECONOMY OF RESOURCES
- The evolution of the rentier states
- Transparency and its dilemmas
- The politics of local content policy
- Authoritarian regimes and their survival strategies
- Energy relationships with China and Russia
- Foreign policy and regional security
Past research projects
From January 2010 until December 2012 I worked on the EU-funded Polinares project (EU Policy on Natural Resources Framework 7 grant of €2,678,642). The research that I conducted focused on the crises of the global energy sector characterised by the re-emergence of resource nationalism in major producing regions of the world and the outward expansion of non-Western major oil companies in the second half of the 2000s. I also co-coordinated work on three Work Packages. Polinares resulted in various research outputs, including book chapters, research papers and an edited volume (with Roland Dannreuther) Global Resources: Conflict and Cooperation (Palgrave 2013). The book offers a panoramic picture of global resources (oil, gas and minerals) and their dynamics in the twentieth and early twenty-first century.
In 2004 I conducted fieldwork in Kazakhstan which was supported with a grant from the Committee for Central and Inner Asia at the Faculty of Oriental Studies in Cambridge, University of Cambridge. The result of my research was published in Politics and Oil in Kazakhstan (Routledge 2010 and 2011). The book deals with the ways in which the post-Soviet Kazakh oil-industry was created and steadily integrated into the global economy in the 1990s and 2000s. Key themes developed in the study are: the formation and evolution of the country's National Oil Company, the interaction between the Kazakh ruling regime and major foreign oil companies, local content policy, legal frameworks as well as the dynamics of centre-periphery relations.
From the reviews of the Politics and Oil in Kazakhstan:
"Ostrowski's command of the topic is impressive. His study includes many interesting facts that will be valuable for researchers. He conducted in-depth interviews with high-ranking representatives of numerous bodies...Ostrowski's study provides a good example of how informal political relations and behaviour are an important mechanism in maintaining the Kazakh regime. It is a good empirical contribution to the existing literature on resource-rich post-Soviet countries and their political economy." - Julia Kusznir, Europe-Asia Studies, 62:8, 2010.
"[The study] markedly improves our understanding of the political economy of a petrol-rich state... [it] will become a touchstone for anyone working in this area... [and] represents an important contribution to our understanding of Kazakhstan in the 1990s and 2000s." - Edward Schatz, University of Toronto; Central Asian Survey, Vol. 30, No. 1, March 2011.
"Wojciech Ostrowski has written a detailed and highly competent survey of the period from independence until the mid-2000s, when Kazakhstan's political economy of oil was inconsistently established as a source of rents and the basis of regime security." - John Heathershaw, University of Exeter, International Affairs 88: 4, 2012.