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Energy Security as an ‘unsafe’ Concept

Energy security is a concept that is not just used, but also heavily abused by governments. Academic research on security as a broad term and energy security as a specialist subfield acknowledges its limited ability in defining it, describing it as a mere ‘speech act’ whereby something becomes ‘a security problem when elites declare it to be so.’

It is therefore this arbitrariness in describing something as an energy security risk that raises concerns, since more often than not governments will use it in order to justify policies that are either politically dubious or cannot be explained based on standard economic reasoning.

This article proposes to analyse three instances where governments have used the energy security objective to pass through policies that proved questionable in the long-term.

Although it cannot be argued that in any of the three cases governments acted in ways that deliberately harmed national interests, the tactics pursued in the name of energy security had left them vulnerable to corruption and foreign influence.

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Aura SABADUS
Researcher Journalist

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