Global Energy Governance Needs to be Multi-level and Regionalized

The exclusive focus on universal-level global energy governance is problematic. Even in the European Union, emphasis is placed on multi-level governance in the energy policy issue-area. Yet although the EU has been near the forefront of advocacy for global energy governance, it has failed to consider systematically, or at all, the advantages of multi-level governance from the global through the regional to the national levels, as well as the cross-cutting transnational and transgovernmental levels. The contrast between the failure of regional European-Ukrainian-Russian energy cooperation on the one hand and, on the other, the success of regional Azerbaijani-Georgian-Turkish energy cooperation drives the point home. Incentive structures of practitioners and academics, conditioned by the sociology of knowledge, inhibit common dialogue over energy governance. Academic-policy boundary organizations represent only a special case of knowledge transfer processes. If overarching global policy goals are to be achieved, then idiosyncratic regional contexts cannot be ignored in global energy governance. They must be respected and allowed their relative autonomy.

Authors: Robert M. Cutler