The EU's geopolitical vision of a European energy space: When 'Gulliver' meets 'white elephants' and Verdi's Babylonian king.

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Abstract

The article examines the EU's and specifically the European Commission's proposals for an external energy policy. The analysis departs from the assumption that the geographical scope of the Commission's proposals is not the result of 'geopolitical facts' but rather of a discursive policy process of geopolitical writing in which geopolitical images and ideas are constantly being created and re-created. I first examine how the Commission is constructing its vision of an integrated European energy space in theory and how it uses 'spectacular' images to justify the linkages between energy security and geography. I then distinguish between Walters's notions of 'networked' and 'colonial' type of relations between the EU and third states to examine the wider political purpose behind the Commission's vision of the European energy space. I then analyse the extent to which the Commission's geopolitical vision has been or can be implemented in practice in four concrete empirical case studies: EU energy relations with Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean/Middle East, the Caucasus and the Russian Federation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)512-535
JournalGeopolitics
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

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