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An Interdisciplinary Perspective on Energy Security: A Case Study of the Evolution of EU Energy and Environmental Law and Policy

Environmental Policy
European Union
International Relations
Regionalism
Security
Energy
Energy Policy
Odysseas Christou
University of Nicosia
Odysseas Christou
University of Nicosia

Abstract

This paper presents a new interdisciplinary theoretical approach to energy security that synthesizes three theoretical perspectives in order to advance a more comprehensive perspective on the role of energy in international and regional relations. (1) It builds on existing conceptual elements of energy within a securitization framework as a separate referent object in securitization processes. Furthermore, it explores the characteristics of energy as a determinant of the configuration and transformation of regional security complexes, their internal processes, and their external relations. (2) In addition, this approach incorporates the interplay of different actors beyond the traditional unitary actor model of international relations by accounting for the role and influence of International Oil Companies and global market forces on interstate competition. (3) Lastly, the paper integrates a policy dimension which is then applied to a case study of the European Union. It traces the evolution of energy and environmental policy and its effects on the above actors and processes. It analyses the evolution of the corresponding regulatory framework and the constraining of policy options for EU member states with convergence towards centrally mandated strategic objectives that prioritize the transition towards a low-carbon economy, thereby differentiating the parameters of interaction for all stakeholders identified above. Ultimately, this approach aims to fill the lacunae of each of these theoretical perspectives through their integration. It will serve as the basis for a book-length elaboration that builds on previous work in this area.