Energy and Geopolitics  book cover
1st Edition

Energy and Geopolitics

ISBN 9781138038394
Published October 24, 2018 by Routledge
202 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The idea that energy shapes and is shaped by geopolitics is firmly rooted in the popular imagination – and not without reason. Very few countries have the means to secure their energy needs through locally available supplies; instead, enduring dependencies upon other countries have developed. Given energy’s strategic significance, supply systems for fuels and electricity are now seamlessly interwoven with foreign policy and global politics.

Energy and Geopolitics enables students to enhance their understanding and sharpen their analytical skills with respect to the complex relations between energy supply, energy markets and international politics. Per Högselius guides us through the complexities of world energy and international energy relations, examining a wide spectrum of fossil fuels, alongside nuclear and renewable energies. Uniquely, the book also shows how the geopolitics of energy is not merely a matter for the great powers and reveals how actors in the world’s smaller nations are as active in their quest for power and control.

Encouraging students to apply a number of central concepts and theoretical ideas to different energy sources within a multitude of geographical, political and historical contexts, this book will be a vital resource to students and scholars of geopolitics, energy security and international environmental policy and politics.

Table of Contents

List of figures


1. Introduction

2. International energy systems

3. Who controls world energy?

4. Understanding energy dependence

5. Managing vulnerability in a geopolitical context

6. Energy as a foreign policy tool

7. Energy transnationalism


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Per Högselius is Professor ofHistory of Technology and International Relations at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden. His teaching and research centre on energy and natural resources in an international political context.


"Per Högselius’s new book is a tour de force, a much-needed overview of the manifold connections between energy and geopolitics, and a major addition to the field. Energy and Geopolitics is written in a lively and accessible prose style with a multitude of cases and examples, which makes it a perfect guide for students as well as the general reader."Thane Gustafson, Georgetown University, USA

"The transition to a more sustainable energy system is not only about increasing the share of renewables, but also about geopolitics. This book beautifully unravels the different dimensions in the relations between energy and geopolitics, in the past, now and – for better or worse – in the future."Geert Verbong, Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands

"A highly innovative and refreshing take on energy geopolitics. Högselius’s analysis challenges conventional understandings of energy geopolitics as confined to the realm of fossil fuels and ‘high’ politics and security. The book masterly shows the connections between various energy systems, renewable and non-renewable, and other aspects of the world’s eco- and social-systems."Margarita M. Balmaceda, Seton Hall University and Harvard University, USA

"Energy and Geopolitics is an innovative study that stands out for its global scope; its inclusion of coal, hydropower, nuclear power, renewables, and energy infrastructure as well oil and natural gas; and its provocative argument that although the uneven distribution of global energy resources has often been a source of conflict, it can also promote interdependence and lead to cooperation."David S. Painter, Georgetown University, USA