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Energy security and energy securitization - Essay Example

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Energy security and energy securitization Energy security and energy securitization 1. Introduction The continuous development of industrial activities worldwide has resulted to the increased needs for energy. In highly industrialized countries the problem is higher, leading to conflicts in regard to the ways that sources of energy could be secured either in the short or the long term…
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Energy security and energy securitization
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Download file to see previous pages The inequality in regard to the energy sources available has caused severe conflicts among states worldwide, a phenomenon which was made particularly clear since the 1970s, the period of ‘oil shock’ (Bhattacharyya 2011, p.463). The above conflicts have led to the increase of risks in relation to the management of energy. Energy security has become a critical issue for all countries around the world; countries, which have developed strategic alliances within the international community, have been able to respond more effectively to the needs of energy security; for example, the case of the European Union (Checchi, Behrens, and Egenhofer 2009). The various aspects of energy security, as related to the energy securitization, are examined in this paper. The review of the literature published in the specific field proved that it is rather difficult for countries to meet all the requirements of energy security; moreover, energy security has been often used for promoting other interests, especially for serving the economic interests of individuals or institutions. The management of energy security should be based on the relevant principles and rules established by the international community. 2. Energy security and energy securitization 2.1 Energy security – characteristics and role Different approaches have been used in the literature in order to explain the context of energy security. In accordance with Tufa (2008) energy security can be described as ‘a reliable supply of energy at a sustainable cost’ (Tufa 2008, p.6). It seems that cost and reliability are two critical factors for defining energy security within the international community. This fact is verified through the definition of energy security given by Muller-Kraenner (2008); in accordance with the above definition, the energy security is considered as ‘the provision of reasonably priced, reliable and environmentally friendly energy’ (Muller-Kraenner 2008, p.4). It is noted that the term energy security may incorporate different elements in countries worldwide. For instance, in countries that are major oil producers, energy security reflects the ability of these countries ‘to maintain the security of demand’ (Tufa 2008, p.6). From a similar point of view, the term energy security can be used in order to describe the efforts of a nation to keep the price of its energy – related products low. On the other hand, Sovacool (2011) notes that energy security is related to the ability of a country to respond to its energy needs, so that: a) no problem would appear in regard to the survival of the specific nation (Sovacool 2011, p.78), b) the welfare of the country would not be threatened (Sovacool 2011, p.78), even if the characteristics of threat in the above case are not clearly described and c) the risks in regard to the management of energy sources within a country are minimized (Sovacool 2011, p.78). It is clear that the efforts to promote energy security are not standardized in countries worldwide. There are countries that consider energy security as a need justifying the development of severe conflicts; other countries seek for ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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