22/09/2016 - 23/09/2016
00:30 p.m. (CET)
The workshop, "Exploring Energy Regionalism," is based on three observations. First, comparative regionalism has been a growing trend in International Relations scholarship and practice. Scholars have investigated a diverse set of issue areas and governance structures across regions, finding, exploring, and explaining variations and consistencies between and among world regions, often with a focus on economic, security or environmental cooperation and regional organizations. Yet, energy issues have been mostly overlooked by research on regionalism (region building led by states) and regionalization (region building by non-state actors). Second, energy scholars have neither systematically nor overtly identified with or connected to the comparative regionalism literature. Indeed, while “energy” and its geopolitical repercussions are discussed vividly by politicians and experts alike it remains largely absent from scholarly discussions of regional governance. This aligns, third, with an absence of energy themes from the major debates in International Relations research, which is surprising given the geopolitical, economic, and environmental impact of the issue. This leaves energy to the confines of ‘high politics’, mostly to security and geopolitics scholars. The latter rarely look at energy from perspectives other than state-centric, national security framings; and regional cooperation, organizations or geographical clustering of certain energy security features remain outside the scope of these analyses. Hence, regionalist perspectives on energy are merited. The workshop brings together and expands a group of experts on energy policy, politics and regionalism. The group endeavors to further develop the research agenda, to conceptualize energy regionalism as a field of research, to discuss methods and key cases, and initiate data collection. Participants have worked extensively on energy issues at a global or national level, on regionalism and regionalization in its various facets, and, in a few cases, on energy regionalism. The overarching aim of the workshop is to bring these strands of research together, and establish and pursue a research agenda on comparative energy regionalism around a core body of methods and research designs. Overall, the ambition of this conference and the involved team of researchers is to provide a critical next step in a far-reaching endeavor that aims to shape academic and policy debates on both energy and regionalism.