The Impact of US-Russian Security Competition on the Development of a Common European Energy Security Policy

  • Ioanna Mavromati

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Important questions about the development of a common European energy security policy have been unexplored in the literature. The literature on European energy security focuses on the EU’s internal and external energy policy and explores issues ranging from the importance of speaking with one voice to who is leading European energy policy. Other studies focus on how much progress has been made towards the development of a common European energy security policy, what factors have delayed the creation of a common European energy approach, and what could explain the progress made in that direction in more recent times. These publications often attribute the development of the common European Energy security policy to the deterioration of relations between the EU and Russia and, more specifically, to Russia’s aggressive foreign and energy policy towards Europe. However, these studies often ignore other factors that might affect the EU’s energy politics. For example, despite the available empirical evidence, political scientists researching European energy security policy have apparently not been worried about the heavy US involvement in the EU’s energy politics and the impact the deterioration of US-Russian relations might have on European energy security policy. This thesis aims to fill the gap in the literature by answering the following research question: To what extent has US-Russian security competition affected the development of a common European energy security policy?

    To shed light on this question, this study developed and employed a new variant of Neoclassical Realism, the Two-Level Model.

    The three case studies used in this thesis demonstrate that Great Power competition has affected the creation of the common European energy security policy. More concretely, the cases showed that as the competition between the US and Russia intensified, Washington and Moscow adopted measures that have both accelerated and delayed the development of the common energy security policy in the EU. However, this thesis also showed that other important factors played a significant role in establishing the Energy Union.
    Date of Award2021
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorCameron Ross (Supervisor) & Janet Liao (Supervisor)

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