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The Global Energy System

The Trans-national Strategy and Policy Interface

Colin Turner and Debra Johnson

There is a long precedent of transnational energy systems due to the spatial disparities between the locations of production and consumption. Within primary energy supply an extensive global system of distribution has emerged for primary energy sources, notably oil and gas, as many developed states have sought to ensure their energy security. As such there are strong pressures for integration within the global energy systems. These market-based pressures are also driven by other forces linked into these forces such as hegemonic power and international governance. However, there are also forces for fragmentation within the global energy system based on a mix of geo-politics, national political concerns and the uneven development of energy infrastructure.

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The Global Information Infrastructure System

The Trans-national Strategy and Policy Interface

Colin Turner and Debra Johnson

Arguably the global information infrastructure (GII) arguably demonstrates the highest degree of globality of all the economic infrastructures under consideration within this research. The GII itself is a modular concept consisting of a multitude of technologies. At the core of the spread of the GII is the internet. This technology has an embedded globality from its outset and access to it is seen as a key barometer of the economic development. This process has been supported by the development of an extensive oceanic cable system. However, this embedded globality is increasingly being challenged as many starts to restrict access to or movements of data. This has been shaped by the growing narratives on the so-called ‘splinternet’.

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Global Infrastructure Networks

The Trans-national Strategy and Policy Interface

Colin Turner and Debra Johnson

Infrastructure represents the core underpinning architecture of the global economic system. Adopting an approach informed by realism, this insightful book looks at the forces for the integration and fragmentation of the global infrastructure system. The authors undertake a thorough examination of the main internationalised infrastructure sectors: energy, transport and information. They argue that the global infrastructure system is a network of national systems and that state strategies exert powerful forces upon the form and function of this system.
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The Global Transport Infrastructure System

The Trans-national Strategy and Policy Interface

Colin Turner and Debra Johnson

This chapter investigates the main trends in global transportation infrastructure by initially examining how these state-based physical structures are adapting to global flows across the main forms of passenger and freight transportation. It is evident across each of the sectors that there are substantial forces for infrastructural integration. These are created by a series of forces, many of which lie on the soft infrastructure side of the global transportation system (such as trade facilitation, service liberalisation, etc.). As such, the forces for integration are suggestive of enabling flows to which national systems respond. However, these integrative forces are limited by variability in soft and hard infrastructure systems (both natural and man-made) which limit the fluidity of transport flows between and across NIS.

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Infrastructure and Territoriality

The Trans-national Strategy and Policy Interface

Colin Turner and Debra Johnson

Infrastructuring is core to understanding state territoriality. It is the provision of the physical structures that are central to understanding the control that states seek to assert over their territory. This infrastructuring strategy is contextualised in terms of a defined infrastructural mandate which identifies the multi-functional role that infrastructure plays in state territoriality. The infrastructural mandate stresses that states seek a National Infrastructure System to perform a number of functions, namely to offer territorial integration, security, control and growth.

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The nature of the Global Infrastructure System

The Trans-national Strategy and Policy Interface

Colin Turner and Debra Johnson

State-based National Infrastructure Systems (NIS) is undergoing a process of adaptation shaped by the forces of globality. This globality is generating a global infrastructure system based on the interaction between NIS. This global system of interacting national infrastructure has the potential to impact upon state territoriality through the conduit offered by the infrastructural mandate. In analysing this process the chapter identifies that interaction between NIS occurs through three potential channels. The first is direct cross-border interaction (which normally occurs across contiguous space). The second is through third party (transit) infrastructure, which is especially a concern where a state is landlocked or requires long-distance transmission systems (such as pipelines) across third-party states. The third is transmission across the global commons.

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Reflections on the Global Infrastructure System

The Trans-national Strategy and Policy Interface

Colin Turner and Debra Johnson

This chapter brings together the themes addressed within the previous chapters to over conclusions as the state and pressures/processes within the global infrastructure system. In reflecting how there is an evident nexus between the state infrastructuring and territoriality, it is also apparent that National Infrastructure Systems are adapting to the pressures acting upon them by the forces of globalization. However, seeking to balance territorial requirements of the National Infrastructure System with globalization has led to a sustained (and, in some cases, a newly emergent) fragmentation of the global system.