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Energy and the Transformation of International Relations

Energy and the Transformation of International Relations
Energy and the Transformation of International Relations

We highly recommend the new book on energy security published by Andreas Wenger, Director of the Center for Security Studies (CSS), together with Robert W Orttung and Jeronim Perovic, both visiting scholars at the Center for Security Studies – Energy and the Transformation of International Relations.

With energy security at the top of the global agenda, Energy and the Transformation of International Relations examines the development of a new producer-consumer framework. As the era of cheap energy comes to an end, Asia’s demand for energy grows, and concerns over climate change increase, it is clear that the old framework is no longer sustainable in this new era. This book examines the evolving relations between the key producers (Middle East, Russia, Latin America and Africa), traditional consumers (the US and Europe), and new consumers (China and India) as they adjust to the changing marketplace and political realities. At the center of the book is the key question of how dynamics in the global energy market affect the nature of international relations. The authors argue that while conflict over resources is possible, there are many opportunities for international cooperation regarding energy resources.

The book can be purchased online.

For more information on energy security check out the ISN website.

Andreas Wenger, Robert W Orttung, Jeronim Perovic (eds.) (2009), Energy and the Transformation of International Relations. Toward a New Producer-Consumer Framework, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

210 Million Euros for Europe’s Security

Remarkable interest in the ISN at the 4th European Security Research Conference
Remarkable interest in the ISN at the 4th European Security Research Conference

Europe aims to be the world’s most competitive and dynamic knowledge economy. To this end, the EU set up different framework programs (FPs) to fund research in almost all scientific fields. The budget of the current program (FP7) amounts to the remarkable sum of EUR 1.4 billion – a bunch of golden pots attracting researchers and practitioners from all over Europe.

Those working on the ‘security research‘ theme are currently in Stockholm at the SR Conference hosted by the Swedish EU Presidency. The objective of the security theme is to develop technologies and knowledge to protect citizens from threats such as terrorism, natural disasters and crime while respecting their privacy and fundamental rights. In his opening speech Vice-President of the European Commission Günter Verheugen reminded the representatives of the industries such as Boeing, Saab, Thales or EADS as well as civil servants and academics that technology alone cannot do the job pointing to the political and ethical dimension of security research. “Our security must be based on our values,” he stated.

The annual conference is the meeting place for security stakeholders to debate Europe’s research agenda. EU representatives outline the Union’s priorities and expectations to those interested in conducting the research and implementing the results. They then take the opportunity to coordinate their efforts, fine tune their proposals and find new partners to work with.

As a long-standing network for IR professionals offering information on a wide range of security related issues, the ISN is of great interest to the conference attendees. Some require to learn about a specific topic such as energy security, others are interested in joining our partner network, want to write for us or simply learn more about our activities such as e-Learning.

There are also those who know us already. Their compliments are very reassuring of the work we do and motivating to keep up our high standards. “I learnt about you at last year’s conference and am now a big fan of your Security Watch service, ” one of the visitors said.

Crisis and Risk Network: Examining Resilience

Examining Resilience / Crisis and Risk Network
Examining Resilience / Crisis and Risk Network
The Crisis and Risk Network has released its latest fact sheet: “Examining Resilience: A concept to improve societal security and technical safety.” The fact sheet explains the concept of resilience in civil defense, defining resilience as a system’s ability to withstand shocks and to recover quickly.

CSS researchers Jennifer Giroux and Elgin Brunner note that many states recognize that not all threats can be averted and emphasize efforts to enhance the flexibility of technical tools as well as society as a whole. Specifically, they focus on the use of modern technologies such as mobile phones and social media in order to effectively communicate with the population. The fact sheet includes case studies and lays out implications for Switzerland’s civil defense.

Liveblogging the ISF

Kris Wheaton is an assistant professor of intelligence studies at Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pennsylvania and is attending the 8th International Security Forum going on now in Geneva.

Mr Wheaton is also a prolific writer, posting his thoughts and tips on intelligence and international security at his blog, Sources and Methods. He has kindly allowed us to crosspost his liveblog entries from the ISF.


Kris Wheaton / photo: Sources and Methods
Kris Wheaton / photo: Sources and Methods

All this week I am in Geneva, Switzerland attending the International Security Forum (ISF). The ISF is a biennial conference designed to discuss “ways to increase communication and cooperation between institutions engaged in research related to international security worldwide.

The conference this year has a strong (for me, at least) intel orientation. The theme is “Coping With Global Change” and the whole first day will be dedicated to the question: which new challenges are looming over the horizon? (Uhhh…that’s our job, isn’t it?)

The conference has a really interesting line-up of speakers and panels. For example, Nobel Peace Prize winner, Martti Ahtisaari, and Deputy Director for Energy and Environmental Security in the Office of Intelligence and Counterintel at the Department of Energy, Carol Dumaine, will make two of the keynote speeches.

I am here as a guest of the wonderful people at The International Relations and Security Network (ISN) and The Center For Security Studies CSS, two of the many sponsors of the forum. My own modest contribution to the event is a short presentation on “Open Sources And The Death Of The Intelligence Cycle” (Yes, you read that right — death. And if it is not dead yet, by the end of my presentation, people are going to want to kill it…).

I am going to lug my computer around with me and see if I can do a bit of live-blogging. I will probably not be able to cover most of the panels as Chatham House Rules are in effect but, as with all good European conferences, there are lengthy coffee and lunch breaks and I may be able to corner a few people and capture their insights for you.

As always when I cover these type events, if you look at the schedule and see something or someone interesting, drop me a note or post a comment and I will try to sit in on the presentation or get a few words with the speaker, at least.

ISN Weekly Theme: International Security Forum

We’re well in the throes of getting ready for the International Security Forum (ISF), happening at the International Conference Centre Geneva (CICG) 18 – 20 May. This year, the gathering of IR and security researchers and professionals will tackle the topic “Coping with Global Change.”

Check out the ISN Special Report Safeguarding Security in Turbulent Times for views from Nayef Al-Rodhan, Anne-Marie Buzatu, James A Lewis, Alyson JK Bailes on issues to watch during these changing times.

Emmanuel Clivaz’s Private Contractors on the Battlefield, an ISN Case Study, examines the he emergence of private military contractors and the theoretical components of the flexibility-control balance in a theater of war. You can find it in the ISN Digital Library.

And the latest addition to our Links Library is The SecDev group, an operational consultancy focused on countries and regions at risk from violence and insecurity.