The three perspectives on energy security: intellectual history, disciplinary roots and the potential for integration

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Scholarly discourses on energy security have developed in response to initially separate policy agendas such as supply of fuels for armies and transportation, uninterrupted provision of electricity, and ensuring market and investment effectiveness. As a result three distinct perspectives on energy security have emerged: the `sovereignty' perspective with its roots in political science; the `robustness' perspective with its roots in natural science and engineering; and the `resilience' perspective with its roots in economics and complex systems analysis. At present, the energy security challenges are increasingly entangled so that they cannot be analyzed within the boundaries of any single perspective. To respond to these challenges, the energy security studies should not only achieve mastery of the disciplinary knowledge underlying all three perspectives but also weave the theories, methods and knowledge from these different mindsets together in a unified interdisciplinary effort. The key challenges for interdisciplinary energy security studies are drawing the credible boundaries of the field, formulating credible research questions and developing a methodological toolkit acceptable for all three perspectives.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • energy security
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-212
JournalCurrent Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Publication categoryResearch

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Aleh Cherp


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