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Global Political Economy

Beyond the Nation State

David Reisman

Economics is business and politics is power. In this insightful book, David Reisman explores the interaction between authority and exchange in a global village where individual nation states – once the pinnacle of political organization – increasingly depend on each other for their material well-being.
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Benjamin K. Sovacool

Although adaptation projects are a growing and necessary part of responding to climate change, they can generate undesirable outcomes. Drawing from concepts in political economy, political ecology, justice theory, and critical development studies, this chapter describes four ways in which adaptation projects can produce unintended, adverse, or inequitable results. Enclosure refers to when adaptation projects transfer public assets, shift costs, or redistribute risk. Exclusion refers to when adaptation projects limit access to resources or marginalise particular stakeholders. Encroachment refers to when adaptation projects intrude upon land use areas with predefined roles or degrade the natural environment. Entrenchment refers to when projects aggravate the disempowerment of women and minorities, or worsen social conditions such as income inequality or violent conflict. In exploring these themes, the chapter touches upon numerous themes in International Political Economy scholarship, including critical development studies, neoliberalism and the corporatisation of public assets and goods, and normative approaches to IPE such as global justice and Marxism.

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Flavio Lira

As an emerging economy, and part of the BRICS, one of the world’s prime clubs of emerging nations, Brazil is widely perceived as a pivotal country in the 21st century’s global political economy of energy. A front-runner of biofuels, championing renewables in transport and electricity generation, and an emerging player in the international oil economy, it epitomises the rapidly changing global energy landscape. Moreover, being a country of the ‘Global South’, Brazil finds itself at the forefront of a broader IPE power shift more generally. However, as this chapter argues, Brazil as an energy player remains undetermined when it comes to its domestic energy regime, which it is argued is by and large a function of non-linear domestic-level governance dynamics between the state and the market. This lack of consistency in the domestic energy policy regime prevents Brazil from fully reaping the benefits of a sizeable energy economy, considerable resource endowments and a relative absence of geopolitical disturbances.

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Robert Falkner

This chapter provides an overview of how the threat of global climate change and the need to de-carbonise the global economy have created new energy research agendas within international political economy (IPE), but also with global energy policy (GEP). It reviews recent research in four environmentally oriented thematic clusters: (1) the emerging energy trilemma of securing energy supply, reducing energy poverty, and preventing dangerous climate change; (2) the optimal choice of policy instruments for de-carbonising global capitalism; (3) the financing of the low-carbon energy transition; and (4) the strengthening of the global architecture for energy governance. The questions and issues raised demonstrate the vitality of existing research and provide some pointers to important new themes arising.

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Andreas Goldthau and Nick Sitter

Exploring the intersections between International Political Economy (IPE) and global public policy (GPP) in energy scholarship, this chapter argues that contemporary dynamics pertaining to global energy trade and security present a challenge for GPP and IPE. On the one hand, the GPP analysis of energy will need to take account of the IPE debates about geopolitics and power. IPE, in turn, is called to revisit the importance of public goods aspects such as transparency for analyses of global energy trade. The chapter identifies five themes in which it is imperative for IPE and GPP analyses to advance mutual scholarly recognition: the commercialisation of shale oil and gas; its consequence for state-level or international regulation and intervention in oil and gas markets; debates on whether the increased focus on security of supply in the USA, the EU and China (and security of demand in Russia) merits new national policies and international regimes; the kind of global rules that might be viable given the new constellations of power in the world of energy; and what kind of actors shape the future of the energy world.

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Morena Skalamera

This chapter contributes to the emerging debate on the shifting IPE in Eurasian energy by focusing on the changing relationship of gas interdependence between the EU and Russia and its influence on Russia’s alleged shift to the East. The chapter seeks to account for the changes in Eurasia energy trade by asserting that the changing trajectories of the EU-Russia-China energy relationships are due to a distinctive transformation in the policy discourse at a domestic level in all of the three blocks. To that end, the chapter builds on a growing body of recent studies suggesting the importance of ideational change in world politics and the significance of domestic-level concerns within states for their cross-border (energy) trade. With this, the chapter contributes to the scholarly understanding of these relationships by identifying the causal links between the various levels and broad range of actors involved in day-to-day energy policy-making in the countries under examination, while highlighting the importance of changing domestic developments.

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Slawomir Raszewski

The phenomenon of emerging economies has received substantial attention in the study of International Political Economy (IPE). This chapter aims at examining Turkey’s national energy policy from the emerging economies’ perspective focusing on the risk factor. The risk factor is key in conceptualising an emerging economy and encapsulates a number of facets including socio-economic, regulatory and political. In doing so, in the chapter a blend of levels of analysis is applied to capture domestic, international and geographical dimensions that underpin the risk factor in the case of Turkey’s energy policy. Drawing on the case study material analysis the chapter presents main stumbling blocks of a risk-focused IPE of emerging markets consisting of conflicting policy choices between the domestic and international levels. Finally, drawing on the case study of Turkey, the geographical factor of emerging economies is evaluated in reference to energy trade.

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Daria Gritsenko

As accelerated climate change can offer easier access to the Arctic resource riches, many countries, including the non-Arctic states, are now considering the Arctic as a viable future source of enormous energy supplies and valuable minerals. This chapter explores the current conversations on Arctic energy futures through the lens of resource colonialism. Focusing on the intertwined politics and economics of Arctic energy, it shows how ongoing Arctic developments have been shaped by expectations, decisions and events taking place outside the Arctic region. It is argued that a contradictory relationship between energy and environment accompanying the persistent interest in Arctic resource wealth marks a shift in the international political economy of energy from ‘old’ to ‘new’ carbon governance.

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Wesley B. Renfro

This chapter investigates the relationship between energy and foreign affairs within the context of Sino-American politics. It argues that most analyses of power in international relations have not paid sufficient attention to the crucial role of energy in determining the relative position of actors in the international system. Surveying recent trends, the chapter claims that increased energy production will convey significant advantage to the United States of America in the coming years while comparative energy scarcity will burden the People’s Republic of China.

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Claudia Strambo and Måns Nilsson

In 2015, the European Union launched the Energy Union in order to reduce fragmentation in European energy policy and boost Europe’s energy transition. This chapter analyses whether the Energy Union, as a policy package, constitutes a coherent whole and whether its distinct components are being pursued in a coordinated manner. We use a simple policy-analytical framework by which the policy components are juxtaposed in a screening matrix. The interactions between the Energy Union policy components are assessed according to a novel typology for understanding interactions and coherence in the 2030 Agenda, with policy interactions ranging on a scale from cancelling to indivisible. Our assessment shows that the interactions are often complex and sometimes vary depending on the time frame. We identify two key hotspots: the relationships between energy security and energy efficiency and between energy security and decarbonisation.