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Inception Meeting on 'Dealing with Energy Vulnerabilities: Case Studies of Cooperation and Collaboration in East Asia'

Date: 4 June 2010
Venue: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS)
Organised by: RSIS Centre for NTS Studies

Much literature on East Asia’s energy security has focused on the dynamics of competition over resources and how potential conflicts could arise from this. While this analytical perspective identifies potential risks and problems, it precludes the possibility that interstate cooperation is possible.

Therefore, going beyond the themes of competition and conflict, the project titled Dealing with Energy Vulnerabilities: Case Studies of Cooperation and Collaboration endeavours to examine interstate cooperation and collaboration in East Asia against the backdrop of continuing geopolitical uncertainties and tension. Specifically, this project aims to examine how transnational projects of energy cooperation and collaboration have taken place in the region, despite the emphasis on geopolitics in determining policy.

The case studies adopted in this project centre on the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as well as China, Japan and South Korea. A key assumption underpinning this project is that shortages in and uncertainties over energy supplies – that is, energy vulnerabilities – constitute a normative part for these case countries under examination. Five research agendas are outlined: 1) stock-taking of trade in fossil fuels among East Asian states; 2) the ‘Asian Premium’ phenomenon; 3) developmental institutions and energy in East Asia; 4) energy vulnerabilities unique to East Asian societies; and 5) the benefits and barriers of regional Asian energy projects.

It is hoped that findings obtained from this project can stimulate debates about energy policymaking and institutionalisation in East Asia, and add value to the field of contemporary energy security studies in this region. For this purpose, on 4 June 2010, a closed-door, energy study group inception meeting was convened at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University. A total of 15 participants gathered to discuss the five proposed research agendas, with the goal of finalising the research roadmap for this project.

The project has since moved on to its final phase where commissioned writers have conducted individual research and presented their findings in a one-and-a-half day regional energy workshop held on 9–10 December 2010.
 

Click here to read the report.


Posted on: 4/6/2010 9:00:00 AM  |  Topic: Energy Security


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