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Palgrave Macmillan

The Politics and Institutions of Global Energy Governance

ISBN 9781137320728
Publication Date October 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Energy, Climate and the Environment

From climate change over shale gas to the race for the Arctic, energy makes headlines in international politics almost daily. Thijs Van de Graaf argues that energy is in dire need of global governance. He traces the history of international energy cooperation from the notorious 'Seven Sisters' oil-companies cartel to the recent creation of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). He analyses how international institutions have been created for securing oil rents, coordinating consumer-countries' energy security policies, promoting producer-consumer dialogue, managing regional gas markets, and dealing with energy-related environmental externalities. Drawing on the emerging regime complexity literature, he constructs a novel analytical framework to explain the fragmented architecture of global energy governance, and studies prospects for institutional reform at the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the G8/G20.

Thijs Van de Graaf is a post-doctoral researcher at the Ghent Institute for International Studies, Ghent University, Belgium. He was previously a visiting scholar at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School, USA. His research covers global energy governance, energy politics, and international institutions.

1. Introduction
2. Energy and global governance
3. Morphogenesis of the energy regime complex
4. Interpreting the global energy architecture
5. Adaptation at the core: reform of the IEA
6. Diverging from the path: the creation of IRENA
7. The G8 and G20 as energy steering committees?
8. Conclusions


"Thijs Van de Graaf has written a fascinating analytical narrative of the international energy regime complex, with systematic and illuminating analysis of sources of change and continuity as a basis for policy recommendations about institutional design. The Politics and Institutions of Global Energy Governance is a valuable contribution to our understanding of how regime complexes change as well as a perceptive study of global energy politics." - Robert O. Keohane, Princeton University, USA
'A cogent and much needed book for anybody interested in understanding how the global energy system functions politically and institutionally. It richly explores topics as diverse as oil security, renewable energy, energy poverty, electricity reliability, and the contours of the International Energy Agency and G20. A good read that will remain on my shelf for years to come.' - Benjamin K. Sovacool, Vermont Law School, USA
"Thijs Van de Graaf's book offers an insightful, rich and compelling analysis of the historical evolution and current fragmentation of the architecture of global energy governance, covering most major institutions, including the new International Renewable Energy Agency. This book is highly recommended for all scholars and students of global energy governance, climate politics, and the emergence and interplay of international organizations." - Frank Biermann, VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands
'This book is likely to be of interest primarily to academic readers: it discusses the need to look at the 'regime complex'—clustering analysis around different activities and institutions which overlap problems. It discusses in mainly theoretical terms the processes which generate new institutions, and the interests of powerful countries able to shape those processes. These interests may determine the balance of advantage between incurring the costs and difficulties of setting up new institutions, and the struggle necessary to reform the institutions which exist already and to develop effective links between them.' - International Affairs
"Thijs Van de Graaf's analysis of this system of institutions and other governance mechanisms—the global energy regime complex—suggests that its overall architecture is inadequate to provide energy security, combat energy poverty, support environmental sustainability. He develops and applies an analytical framework and provides a compelling explanation for the establishment of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in 2009, outside of extant global energy architecture defined by the International Energy Agency (IEA) rather than within it. Of greater relevance here, the framework suggests a scheme for understanding when to abandon existing institutions and begin again." - Global Environmental Politics
'Van de Graaf's book provides a comprehensive overview of the field, makes persuasive causal arguments about institutional choices, and draws from those arguments highly relevant policy prescriptions. The book should be a starting point for everyone thinking about how to solve energy problems in the 21st century.' - Carbon & Climate Law Review
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