Energy, Coercive Diplomacy, and Sanctions

Llewelyn Hughes, Eugene Gholz

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary


    Analysis of energy markets has long focused on the concern that fossil fuels might be used as instruments of coercion. In this chapter, we review the state of knowledge on the relationship between energy, coercion, and sanctions. We argue that historical concerns in the major energy-importing countries regarding the potential for coercion have largely been misguided: the structure of energy markets makes it difficult to use the fossil fuels that form the basis of our energy system as instruments of coercion or to enforce changes in target states’ behavior. We suggest there are nevertheless a number of important questions that remain amenable to further research. First, more research is needed to understand the implications of energy supply chains in which production, transportation, refining, and distribution are no longer handled by the same companies or dominated by the same countries. Second, recent sanctions efforts suggest that oil consumers may gain leverage vis-à-vis producers, yet the effectiveness of sanctions against energy exporters remains poorly understood, including sanctions that target the financial activities that underpin their ability to settle trades in oil and gas. Third, scholars interested in energy could also profitably study the relationship between the energy sector and interest groups politics, both in targeted countries and those seeking to impose costs through the manipulation of energy markets.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of the International Political Economy of Energy
    Editors Thijs Van de Graaf, Benjamin K. Sovacool, Arunabha Ghosh, Florian Kern and Micha
    Place of PublicationLondon
    PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
    ISBN (Print)9781137556301
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    Dive into the research topics of 'Energy, Coercive Diplomacy, and Sanctions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this