A Liberal Actor in a Realist World: The European Union Regulatory State and the Global Political Economy of Energy

ISBN : 9780198719595

Andreas Goldthau; Nick Sitter
192 ページ
167 x 241 mm

Since 1992, the European Union has put liberalisation at the core of its energy policy agenda. This aspiration was very much in line with an international political economy driven by the neo-liberal (Washington) consensus. The central challenge for the EU is that the energy world has changed, while the EU has not. The rise of Asian energy consumers (China and India), more assertive energy producers (Russia), and the threat of climate change have securitized the IPE of energy, and turned it more 'realist'. The main research question is therefore: 'What does a liberal actor do in a realist world?' The overall answer as far as the EU is concerned is that it approaches energy challenges as a problem of market failure: imperfect competition on the supply side; inadequate supply of public goods on the demand side and in terms of infrastructure; and large externalities that arise both from non-energy events and from large-scale consumption of fossil fuels. A Liberal Actor in a Realist World assesses the changing nature of the global political economy of energy and the European Union's response, and the external dimension of the regulatory state. The book concludes that the EU's soft power has a hard edge, which is derived primarily from its regulatory power. This works best when it targets companies rather than governments, and it is more effective in the 'Near Abroad' than at the global level. This makes the EU emerge an actor in its own right in the global political economy of energy - a 'Regulatory Power Europe'.


1. Introduction: Chapter 1: Introduction: The EU and the Changing International Political Economy of Energy
2. The Changing International Political Economy of Energy
3. The EU Regulatory State and Energy Security
4. Oil Markets. Dealing with Global Market Failures
5. Gas Markets: Dealing with Market Failures and Asymmetric Power in the Near Abroad
6. The Carbon Challenge. Dealing with the Externalities of Energy Markets
7. The Long Reach of the Regulatory State: 'Regulatory Power Europe'
8. Conclusion: A Liberal Actor in a Realist World


Dr. Andreas Goldthau is Professor at Central European University, Associate with the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, and Fellow with the Global Public Policy Institute, Berlin. Dr. Goldthau's research interests focus on energy security and on global governance issues related to oil and gas. His books and edited volumes include Global Energy Challenge: Environment, Development, and Security (Palgrave MacMillan, forthcoming), The Handbook of Global Energy Policy (Wiley Blackwell, 2013), Dynamics of Energy Governance in Europe and Russia (Palgrave, 2012), Global Energy Governance: The New Rules of the Game (Brookings Press, 2010), Imported Oil and U.S. National Security (RAND, 2009) and OPEC (Hanser, 2009).; Dr. Nick Sitter is Professor of Public Policy at the Department of Public Policy at Central European University, Professor of Political Economy at the BI Norwegian Business School, Research Associate at the Centre for Analysis of Risk and Regulation at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His books and edited volumes include Europe's Nascent State: Public Policy in the EU (Gyledendal Akademiske, 2006), Understanding Public Management (Sage, 2008), a special issue of Nations and Nationalism on constitutions (2010), and Terrorismens Historie (Dreyer, forthcoming).