Handbook of the International Political Economy of Energy and Natural Resources
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Handbook of the International Political Economy of Energy and Natural Resources

Edited by Andreas Goldthau, Michael F. Keating and Caroline Kuzemko

This Handbook offers a comprehensive overview of the latest research from leading scholars on the international political economy of energy and resources. Highlighting the important conceptual and empirical themes, the chapters study all levels of governance, from global to local, and explore the wide range of issues emerging in a changing political and economic environment.
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Chapter 23: International political economy of nuclear energy

Elina Brutschin and Jessica Jewell


The use of nuclear power has been driven by the motivation to meet growing electricity demand while avoiding dependence on imported fossil fuels and constrained by capacities to launch nuclear energy programmes. The chapter argues that tension between the two is a defining feature of the international political economy of nuclear energy. On the one hand, nuclear technology promises energy security and industrial modernisation. On the other hand, launching nuclear programmes can plunge countries into three forms of international dependence: on imported uranium, on production and disposal of nuclear fuel, and on the uneven capacities to manufacture nuclear reactors and construct nuclear power plants. The authors argue that international cooperation and competition profoundly shape how states deploy, expand and phase out their nuclear power programmes and brings together diverse international aspects of nuclear power which may increasingly shape the future of nuclear energy.

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