Global Energy Politics
Global Energy Politics
Ever since the Industrial Revolution energy has been a key driver of world politics. From the oil crises of the 1970s to today’s rapid expansion of renewable energy sources, every shift in global energy patterns has important repercussions for international relations. 

In this new book, Thijs Van de Graaf and Benjamin Sovacool uncover the intricate ways in which our energy systems have shaped global outcomes in four key areas of world politics: security, the economy, the environment and global justice. Moving beyond the narrow geopolitical focus that has dominated much of the discussion on global energy politics, they also deftly trace the connections between energy, environmental politics, and community activism.

The authors argue that we are on the cusp of a global energy shift that promises to be no less transformative for the pursuit of wealth and power in world politics than the historical shifts from wood to coal and from coal to oil. This ongoing energy transformation will not only upend the global balance of power; it could also fundamentally transfer political authority away from the nation state, empowering citizens, regions and local communities. 

<i>Global Energy Politics</i> will be an essential resource for students of the social sciences grappling with the major energy issues of our times.
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  • June 2020
  • 240 pages
  • 158 x 232 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $74.95
  • 9781509530489
  • Paperback $26.95
  • 9781509530496
  • Open eBook $22.00
  • 9781509530519
Table of Contents
Foreword by Adnan Z. Amin

1. Introduction: Systems, frames, and transitions
2. The history and functioning of key energy markets

Part I: World Politics Through an Energy Prism
3. Energy and security
4. Energy and the economy
5. Energy and the environment
6. Energy and justice

Part II: Governing the Energy Transition
7. Energy technologies and innovation
8. National and regional energy policy
9. Global energy governance

10. Conclusions
About the Author
Thijs Van de Graaf is Assistant Professor of International Politics at Ghent University, Belgium.

Benjamin K. Sovacool is Professor of Energy Policy at the University of Sussex Business School, United Kingdom.
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"In a complex and rapidly changing energy landscape, this comprehensive overview of the global politics of energy is particularly welcome. It skillfully connects the dots between energy markets, geopolitics, the environment, and local activism across a range of energy technologies and sectors. For anyone who wants to understand the complexities and depth of the global energy challenge, Global Energy Politics is essential reading." —Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General Emeritus of the International Renewable Energy Agency

"An important contribution to thinking through the current energy era and the future transition." —Morgan Bazilian, Executive Director of the Payne Institute for Earth Resources and Research Professor of Public Policy, Colorado School of Mines

"a well-informed, empirically rich systematic analysis of different parts of the energy sector that builds directly on the latest research." —Gavin Bridge, Durham University

"Global Energy Politics is a comprehensive, well-researched, and valuable guide to the energy challenges of our time. Thijs Van de Graaf and Benjamin Sovacool deploy a variety of analytical perspectives: geopolitics, economics, sustainability, and justice, discussing promising technological innovations and the institutional and political challenges to decarbonization." —Robert O. Keohane, Princeton University

"We are in the middle of a global energy transformation. Van De Graaf and Sovacool’s comprehensive text provides students with an essential guide to this changing global energy landscape." —Johannes Urpelainen, John Hopkins University

"Keeping pace with the changing global energy landscape and its influence on political, economic and social issues has become exponentially more difficult in a world where unprecedented risks and technological advances are upending the norms of the last century. Global Energy Politics is a valuable resource for those seeking to understand and navigate the shifting relationships between energy markets, geopolitics, climate, equity, and emerging technologies at this critical energy crossroad." —Jason Bordoff, Columbia University

"[Global Energy Politics] is very welcome… This book provides a wide-ranging panorama of global energy politics … and would be an excellent read for undergraduate and post-graduate students tackling the subject." —Asian Century Institute

"The most important contribution of this book comes through employing systems thinking to deal with energy issues. Van De Graaf and Sovacool have opened up a technical and difficult topic to social scientists while at the same time broadening traditional IR approaches." —International Affairs

"The book is well-researched, up to date, and it presents complex and interrelated energy topics in an easily accessible and impressively pedagogical way... Their multidisciplinary socio-technical approach offers a deeper understanding than could be attained through the lens of any single discipline in isolation." —International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics

"An excellent survey and overview of various elements of global energy politics. The writing is clear and accessible, yet covers impressive ground and accommodates the infinite complexity of the subject at hand. This book serves as a comprehensive introductory text and will be a useful read to students of energy politics across a variety of disciplines, and particularly students attempting to find a point of entry into the rapidly growing subfield of energy geographies." —The American Association of Geographers (AAG) Review of Books

"Sovacool and Van de Graaf bring us closer to the broader research agenda we need to map the different pathways of global transformation that may emerge from the transition…Their chapter on “energy justice”, which investigates the detrimental impacts of renewable energy supply chains on communities when social justice concerns are side-lined, is particularly welcome." —Michel J. Albert, Alternatives


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