The Geopolitics of Energy: Swedish International Dependencies in a Historical Perspective
2012 (English)Conference paper, Poster (Other academic)
A metaphor that is often used to describe energy supply is that of a nation’s blood circulation. Indeed, a permanent interruption in the supply of energy would be lethal to any society. Sweden – a neutral country in cold war Europe – belongs to those countries that are, and have been, very strongly dependent on imports of energy, and this implies a special vulnerability. Today two imported energy carriers – oil and uranium – each covers some 30 % of the total.
Sweden is of course not alone in its dependence on imported fuels. The world’s energy resources are unevenly distributed, and since the mid 19th century the pursuit of coal, oil, gas and uranium has been an important constituent of international politics and economics. The strongest nations have used economical, political and if necessary military means to control energy sources in far away territories in order to secure their energy supplies at home. This is often referred to as the geopolitics of energy, and there has been quite some research about it. There has been much less research on how small nations have tried to handle their dependencies on far away countries using “soft” means rather than “hard” ones. By studying how Sweden has done this we hope to contribute to an understanding of the geopolitics of energy of small nations.
We will focus at which actors and which motives that have been central in these decisions and whether it is possible to identify a distinct but evolving ‘Swedish model’ in actors’ attempts to deal with vulnerabilities stemming from energy import dependence, and if this model has applied to the energy system as a whole, i.e. the same model has applied to all types of fuels.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
History of Technology
Research subject SRA - Energy
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-107670OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-107670DiVA: diva2:577055
StandUp Academy Fall Workshop 2012, 25-26 oktober, 2012, Sigtuna
ProjectsEnergy and Geopolitics
QC 201212192012-12-142012-12-142012-12-19Bibliographically approved