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date: 19 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Interdependence is a defining feature of contemporary global energy systems. By connecting producers and consumers, international trade and investment links potentially benefit the energy security of all parties. However, the international “coordination game” over energy is characterized by two distinct behavioral logics: a geopolitical approach that views interdependence as a competitive zero-sum game and a global energy governance approach that favors cooperation through markets and institutions. This chapter explores how these behavioral logics structure the politics of energy interdependence. It reviews scholarly theories of competitive and cooperative energy behavior, connecting these to governments’ preferences for liberal or nationalist policy frameworks. It then explores how the tensions between these logics have conditioned recent attempts to build governance regimes for global energy markets. It concludes by mapping an agenda for future research, which suggests attention should be focused on the political factors determining the energy policy choices made by governments.

Keywords: interdependence, coordination game, cooperation, conflict, energy nationalism, energy liberalism, energy subsidies, energy governance, regime complex

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