This article explores the role of energy in regionalization processes, assessing the case of natural gas finds in the Eastern Mediterranean (East Med). It makes three observations. First, we show that energy resources are a defining factor in shaping a region by rearranging the interactions and networks of actors involved in regionalization processes. Second, we demonstrate that such “energization” processes are not only—and not even primarily—attributable to security practices pursued by state actors. Regionalization underpinned by energy as the key governance object is characterized by a variety of actors, including governments, but also international energy companies, investors, consumers, and regulators. Third, we posit that regionalization processes cannot be fully understood without appreciating the importance of existing global and regional governance frameworks and the values ascribed to the physical resource by international market forces. The findings call on International Relations to go beyond analyzing the East Med energy region through the prism of security studies, which arguably is a function of both theoretical path dependence and a lack of attention to the insights from energy studies. Instead, a multidisciplinary research agenda promises to strengthen academic inquiry into regionalization dynamics in the East Med and the role of regions in world politics more broadly.
- Publication Year
- Publication Type
- Academic Articles
Goldthau, A., Richert, J., & Stetter, S. (2020). Leviathan Awakens. Gas Finds, Energy Governance, and the Emergence of the Eastern Mediterranean as a Geopolitical Region. The review of policy research. doi:10.1111/ropr.12387.
- Staff involved
- Projects involved
- Investigating the Systemic Impacts of the Global Energy Transition (ISIGET)