Global Energy Governance in a Multipolar World

LESAGE PPC(240x159)filmsGlobal Energy Governance in a Multipolar World

by Dries Lesage, Thijs Van de Graaf, and Kirsten Westphal

Publisher: Ashgate
Published: April 2010

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Global Energy Governance in a Multipolar World investigates the relationship between the emergence of a multipolar world order and the enormous challenges of global energy governance that the world is facing in the 21st century. It reflects on fundamental questions such as how the main consuming countries can avoid conflict over scarce resources, how they will cooperate to bring about open energy markets, energy conservation and efficiency, and how they can promote renewable energy sources. Multipolar governance permits a number of important states to have significantly more economic and political clout than others, but among them there is hardly any hierarchy. The new energy challenge, with its intricate socio-economic, ecological and international-political considerations, is a multi-dimensional, multi-level and multi-actor issue that requires a minimum of ‘central’ political steering, because neither the invisible hand of the market, nor unilateral or bilateral power politics are capable to bring about sustainable solutions.

Reviews & Praise

‘This important book addresses a crucial issue that has been ignored for far too long – how to establish and implement international rules that facilitate energy security on a sustainable basis for all. It combines a thorough analysis of the world’s key energy governance institutions, the interests of key countries, and the past and potential roles for concerts of major powers such as the G8 with thought-provoking recommendations that deserve serious consideration by policy-makers around the world.’
Ann Florini, Singapore Management University, Singapore and The Brookings Institution, USA

‘…a truly path breaking book on a subject of vital importance that shows a deep understanding of the increasingly multi-polar and interdependent world in which we live. Energy issues cannot be compartmentalized from other global issues and the authors grasp the reality that the world needs a “political steering committee”. They are right.’
Gordon Smith, University of Victoria and former Deputy Foreign Minister of Canada

‘This detailed examination of the institutions, clubs and concerts currently involved in addressing global energy issues is the first of its kind, and will be a key reference point for all future research in this area… Five to ten years ago, the term ‘global energy governance’ was relatively absent from academic and policy debates… Leadership by scholars such as Lesage, Van de Graaf and Westphal have legitimized this area of study into a true discipline in its own right.’
International Affairs

‘… Lesage, Van de Graaf and Westphal provide a timely state-of-the-art assessment of energy issues and make a convincing case for undertaking further action in the form of better structured global energy governance. They advance a very important debate on how energy is to be governed and pave the way for much needed further research in this area. Their work will be of particular interest to international relations and political science scholars, and it is of absolute value to those seeking to understand how to deal with the pressing global energy issues of our time.’
Review of European Community and Environmental Law

‘The book successfully combines economic and historical analyses… [it] is very well written. It represents a valuable theoretical advancement in the literature on energy governance, and it is likely to open the way to further studies. It is therefore highly recommended for all scholars interested in energy geopolitics and international organisations.’
Political Studies Review

‘The politics of energy has garnered significant attention in recent years and, by now, has claimed an important position within the broader literature on global governance. Global Energy Governance in a Multipolar World arguably represents the most accomplished overview to date and the book succeeds in complementing considerable factual knowledge with a cogent argument about the value of major power concerts in global energy governance.’
Environmental Politics

‘This is an interesting book. It defines global energy governance as an emerging and recent, but most important and urgent, aspect of multipolar governance… The book is well documented, offers a wealth of references and is most accessible, also for non-experts of international environmental policy. Therefore it is warmly recommended to an academic audience of teachers, researchers and master degree students on interdisciplinary environmental issues.’
International Journal of Environment and Pollution


1. Introduction
Part I
Global Energy Governance Today

2. The global energy challenge
3. Blueprint for a global sustainable energy regime
4. The institutional landscape of global energy governance
Part II
Bringing in Multipolarity:
Major power concerts and global energy governance

5. The players in the multipolar energy game
6. The G8’s track record in global energy governance
Part III

7. G8 leadership in global energy governance: an evaluation
8. Prospects for energy cooperation in a multipolar world

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