History professor Audrey Altstadt will discuss “Energy and Human Rights in the Caspian Basin” on Thursday, Jan. 23 from 4:30-5:30 p.m. at the Collaborative for Educational Services, 97 Hawley St., Northampton.
The oil- and gas-producing states around the Caspian Sea—Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran—have poor human rights records but the U.S. and E.U. need their energy resources. For the U.S., as frequent champion of human rights and democratic rule, this dichotomy presents a philosophical and political dilemma. Altstadt will examine energy and human rights in the region and view up close a few cases illustrating Western preference for energy security over human rights.
The event is a part of the 2013-14 History Institute, a four-part series on contemporary events in historical perspective sponsored by the history department and the Collaborative for Educational Services. A workshop for K-12 teachers will follow from 5:30-7 p.m.