The liberal energy paradigm in crisis? Insights from the transformation of European external energy policy
Anna Herranz-Surrallés (Maastricht University)
Current debates on the nature and future of global order seem to coincide in diagnosing the decline, or at least crisis, of Western (neo)liberal order. The attention of IR scholars has thus gradually shifted from global governance, understood as global steering mechanisms beyond the state, to the emergence of non-Western powers, the return of state capitalism and old forms of diplomacy and inter-state bargaining. What does this underlying shift mean for actors which, like the EU, have constructed their foreign policy identity and institutional practices around the extension of liberal rules and binding multilateral regimes? Based on a recently published paper, the presentation will revisit this question in one of the fields that has most clearly experienced the comeback of the state and geopolitical ideas –energy policy. It will be argued that, against the expectations of most established theories, the EU has been developing state-like instruments of energy diplomacy, in a way that significantly (albeit not completely) departs from its traditional liberal energy governance. The analysis suggests that this mixture of governance and diplomacy in EU external energy policy is, for better or for worse, part of the explanation for its moot success. These findings will be placed in the context of a broader project on the changing paradigms in global energy governance.
Anna Herranz-Surrallés is Assistant Professor of International Relations at the Department of Political Science of Maastricht University. Prior to joining Maastricht, Anna was a Juan de la Cierva post-doctoral fellow at the Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals (IBEI). She has also held visiting fellowships at the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF), Aberystwyth University, the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (OIES), the German Institute for International and Security Studies (SWP) and Copenhagen University. Anna’s current work concentrates on the ideational underpinnings of European and global energy governance. Her broader research interests include the patterns of politicization, legitimation practices and democratic control of foreign economic and security policies. Her work has appeared in journals such as West European Politics, Journal of Common Market Studies, Mediterranean Politics, Cooperation & Conflict and Journal of European Public Policy.
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