The International Spectator, Vol. 49, No. 2, June 2014

Issue: 
49/2
Publication date: 
29/06/2014

Opinions

Energy - A Geopolitical Game Changer?
Michael Leigh
Energy trade cannot overcome longstanding political conflicts. There are no 'peace pipelines' anywhere in the world. Rather peace is a condition for investment in pipelines and other forms of energy infrastructure. Where political breakthroughs have been achieved, however, energy trade can reinforce cooperation between states and contribute to regional stability. These considerations are particularly pertinent to the Cyprus settlement talks and Middle East Peace Process, against the background of energy discoveries in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Keywords: Energy, geopolitics, pipelines, conflict
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Essays
Upheaval in the Energy Market

Can Gas Catalyse Peace in the Eastern Mediterranean?
Ayla Gürel and Laura Le Cornu
The economic rationale for energy collaboration between Turkey, Cyprus and Israel is compelling. Cyprus and Israel need commercially viable export routes for their gas while Turkey is eager to diversify and increase its gas supplies. Hydrocarbon resources could potentially be a catalyst for both bringing about a Cyprus settlement and a Turkey-Israel rapprochement. A trilateral cooperation scheme involving a Turkey-Israel pipeline and an LNG plant in Cyprus could offer strong commercial incentives to all parties. But it would require bold political vision on the part of the region's leaders, coupled with backing from influential external actors with an interest in reconciliation and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Keywords: Turkey, Cyprus, Israel, gas, hydrocarbons, cooperation, reconciliation
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An EU-South Mediterranean Energy Community: The Right Policy for the Right Region?
Simone Tholens
The European Commission has spelled out its policy ambition for EU energy cooperation with the southern neighbourhood with plans for the establishment of an 'Energy Community'. Its communications make clear that an Energy Community should be based on regulatory convergence with the EU acquis communautaire, much in the same vein as the existing institution carrying the same name; the Energy Community with Southeast Europe. It is puzzling that the Commission insists on repackaging this enlargement concept in a region with very different types of relationships vis-à-vis the EU, especially when considering the lukewarm position of key stakeholders in the field. According to them, any attempt to introduce a political integration model in this highly sensitive issue area in the politically fragmented MENA region might run the risk of hurting the incremental technical integration process that has slowly emerged over the past few years.
Keywords: EU external relations, Euro-Mediterranean energy cooperation, Energy Community
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Governance Barriers to Renewable Energy in North Africa
Nadejda Komendantova, Stefan Pfenninger, and Anthony Patt
Solar power in the North African region has the potential to provide electricity for local energy needs and export to Europe. Nevertheless, despite the technical feasibility of solar energy projects, stakeholders still perceive projects in the region as risky because of existing governance issues. Certain areas of solar projects, such as construction, operation and management, are the most prone to governance risks, including lack of transparency and accountability, perceived as barriers for deployment of the projects. It is likely that large-scale foreign direct investment into solar energy will not eliminate existing risks, but might even increase them. Furthermore, the recent political changes in the region have addressed some governance risks but not all of them, especially bureaucratic corruption. Stakeholders recommend a broad set of measures to facilitate development of solar projects in the region, ranging from auditing of individual projects to simplification and unification of bureaucratic procedures.
Keywords: North African region, foreign direct investment, solar projects, governance risks, transparency and accountabilitys
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Geopolitical Implications of the US Unconventional Energy Revolution
Nicolò Sartori
The unconventional oil and gas revolution is certainly a game changer in the current international political setting, since it will bring the United States close to energy self-sufficiency. However, it seems unlikely that this new energy status will dramatically redefine US foreign policy and security priorities. In strategic regions such as the Middle East, US interests are expected to remain unchanged, while the new energy status will contribute only in part to modifying the US approach towards the EU's energy posture vis-à-vis Russia. What the new American energy condition is likely to change are the tools and policy options available to Washington to cope with the strategic challenges - China's power in primis - emerging in the multipolar international relations system.
Keywords: United States, energy, shale gas, foreign policy
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Europe's Defence Dilemma
Mette Eilstrup-Sangiovanni
Fifteen years ago, the European Union (EU) launched a Common European Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). Since then, the CSDP has been the focus of a growing body of political and scholarly evaluations. While most commentators have acknowledged shortfalls in European military capabilities, many remain cautiously optimistic about the CSDP's future. This article uses economic alliance theory to explain why EU member states have failed, so far, to create a potent common defence policy and to evaluate the policy's future prospects. It demonstrates, through theoretical, case study-based and statistical analysis, that CSDP is more prone to collective action problems than relevant institutional alternatives, and concludes that the best option for Europeans is to refocus attention fully on cooperation within a NATO framework.
Keywords: CSDP, Economic Alliance Theory, NATO, collective action problems, burdensharing, crisis management
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The World's Second Oldest Profession: The Transatlantic Spying Scandal and its Aftermath
Robert Dover
The revelations from the former National Security Agency contractor, Edward Snowden, in July 2013 will have an enduring impact on the modern business of intelligence and the communication strategies of governments and non-state based adversaries alike. Snowden's revelations do not mark a fundamental divergence from the general understanding of intelligence. In making these implied understandings public, however, Snowden has changed the political dynamic around mass surveillance. The revelations amplify a tension within several layers of social contract from interactions between governments to those between governments and citizens. Long-term, diplomatic relations between the US and European governments should remain largely unaffected.
Keywords: National Security Agency, intelligence, surveillance, legitimacy
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Book Reviews

Bringing Ideology Back In: A Systemic Theory of States' Preferences
Emanuele Castelli
Review of: The Great Powers and the International System. Systemic Theory in Empirical Perspective, by Bear F. Braumoeller, Cambridge University Press, 2012
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Understanding the EU-Japan Relationship: A Basis for Interpreting the Future
Marie Söderberg
Review of: Diplomacy in Japan-EU Relations. From the Cold War to the Post-bipolar Era, by Oliviero Frattolillo, Routledge, 2013
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The Bleak Reality of India's Capitalist Development
Michelguglielmo Torri
Review of: Capitalist Development in India's Informal Economy, by Elisabetta Basile, Routledge, 2013
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Recent Publications
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