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Energy, security and conflict in a future perspective

Scientists at FOI have studied the connection between energy and international relations. The purpose is to increase our understanding of how energy and security can interact in a future international context.

How, for example, does the room for manoeuvre of a weakened EU look in a poorly functioning energy market that is affected by the balance of power between other global actors? Which possible strategies are open to an EU that is conscious of climate change but is constrained by external circumstances dominated by great powers with other priorities. That is a future scenario considered in the report Energi, säkerhet och konflikt i ett framtidsperspektiv [Energy, security and conflict in a future perspective] by FOI research analysts Daniel Jonsson, Bengt Johansson, André Månsson and Hannes Sonnsjö. The report, in Swedish only, describes a number of conceivable future geopolitical and security scenarios and considers what room for manoeuvre the EU may have in the face of such challenges.

As well as analysing energy and security from a perspective of conceivable future energy and geopolitical circumstances, the report provides a theoretical framework and describes concepts, theories and analytical models. Among other things it describes the energy system as an object in a conflict, as a means of conflict and as a cause of instability. The energy-security complex is also elucidated on the basis of various schools of thought on international relations and the different views as to whether relations are dominated by cooperation or rivalry and conflict between the different actors.

According to the scientists contributing to the report, the connection between energy and international relations is clear. In order to understand this connection, the report describes the interplay between resource considerations, technical, economic and political factors. The report concludes with a summary that illuminates such aspects as energy and security in a future perspective both from a decision maker’s perspective and from that of the analyst.


FOI, Swedish Defence Research Agency

Swedish Defence Research Agency
SE-164 90 Stockholm

Phone +46 8 555 030 00
Fax +46 8 555 031 00

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