Columbia International Affairs Online: Policy Briefs

CIAO DATE: 04/2011

Crafting Energy Security Cooperation in East Asia

Jochen Prantl

April 2011

Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies


Existing work on energy security tends to over-emphasise the prospect of competition and conflict over resources while under-exploring the promise of cooperation. This policy brief provides a framework for understanding energy security cooperation and highlights some building blocks for crafting such cooperation in East Asia. At present, instead of an integrated regime, issues related to energy security are addressed through a patchwork of loosely coupled rules, regulations and institutions, overlapping and sometimes competing, which amount to a regime complex. This policy brief stipulates that an energy security regime complex may have advantages over an integrated regime, most notably in terms of adaptability, flexibility and voice, features which are particularly pertinent in an environment of high vulnerability and uncertainty.