- Research Handbooks in International Law series
Edited by Kim Talus
Chapter 22: International energy law, institutions and geopolitics
A number of scholars have addressed the issue of energy geopolitics by attempting to emphasize the importance of energy in international relations. At the same time, it remains difficult to argue that energy interests are always the impacting factors in energy geopolitics. In some cases, energy is used as a political tool for other strategic objectives. Moreover, States can also pursue policies which do not especially reflect interests of its energy industries. A view defended in this chapter consists of the argument that energy geopolitics depend on the norms and practices of States. For example, energy geopolitics would be significant in the former Soviet Union and almost inexistent in Western Europe. In other words, norms and practices in inter-state relations also shape energy relations. In turn, inter-State practices can either reinforce or weaken international energy law depending on the general political context. On these grounds, the present chapter assesses existing energy interrelations between States in light of the development of international norms, practices and law, which are together defined as institutions. Indeed, a number of scholars have outlined evolving formal and informal norms and practices, and which may form a ground for an institutionalization of inter-State relations which constitute a basis for international law.
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