This chapter examines benchmarking, as a method of universal standard setting, with a specific emphasis on climate change benchmarking. The chapter is framed with reference to constructivist international political economy (IPE) that interprets benchmarks as constructed, open to contestation and change and deeply political. Four categories of climate change benchmarks are introduced, whilst some emphasis is placed on the manner in which each category tends to set new standards with specific relevance for energy sectors. This is one example of the ways in which climate change and energy policy areas are becoming intertwined within governance practices. The chapter also provides an overview of how those being benchmarked respond with some emphasis on non-state and sub-state actor groups – thereby revealing some new themes within the politics of climate change benchmarking.
Caroline Kuzemko, Michael F. Keating and Andreas Goldthau
This chapter makes the case for nexus thinking in the study of the international political economy of energy and resources, that is their inter-dependencies with other policy areas. It argues that it is imperative to go beyond an IPE of ‘just energy’ – rather than treating it as truly ‘discrete’ – to understand energy and resources as part of dynamic inter-relationship with other issue areas. In addition to the ones related to climate change, security and development, nexuses as identified in the chapter include the energy–technology nexus, the energy–water nexus, the energy–food nexus, or the global–local nexus in energy, all of which are increasingly identified within some global and national governance organisations and within recent scholarship. The chapter suggests that from a scholarly point of view this establishes energy as a highly complex, interconnected policy area – both in terms of how energy markets and technical regimes are constituted, their implications for other issue areas, and in terms of the extent to which governance institutions are being designed that stretch across these issue areas. Moreover, the chapter makes the case for the ‘IPE toolkit’ being well equipped to capture energy nexuses in their various forms and shapes. Finally, the chapter lays out the structure and the content of the Handbook.