Non-Traditional Security: Publications

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  • China's Search for Energy Security: Emerging Dilemmas

    As the world's fastest growing energy consumer, China has attracted enormous attention over the last few years. This paper looks at the factors influencing China's policies and strategies in its search for energy security and examines whether China can be persuaded to adopt a more integrative stance with respect to energy. It argues that China's pursuit of a policy to secure preferential access to oil and gas resources in politically unstable states could lead to heightened competition with other major importing states and to geopolitical tensions.

    November 2007

    Burma in the Balance: The Geopolitics of Gas

    A new great game is under way in Myanmar. The huge offshore gas findings stretching from the borders of Bangladesh down to Thailand have resulted in a flurry of diplomatic manoeuvring with China, Thailand and other ASEAN countries as well as United States, India, the European Union, Australia and Russia all playing key roles. The equations are bound to change and many countries, for fear of losing influence with Yangon, are seeking a more 'pragmatic' approach.

    July 2007

    The Maritime Dimension of India's Energy Security

    Energy security has become a major component of India's national security thinking and policy as its economy has begun to record high rates of growth. The criticality of ensuring access to foreign oil and gas resources will only increase with time as the gap between its demand and its domestic production widens. Furthermore, India's dependence on the seas is particularly overwhelming for its energy 'logistics' in terms of both its domestic supplies and overseas imports.

    July 2007

    The Case for a Proactive Indian and Chinese Approach to Climate Change and Energy Security

    The magnitude of the threat from climate change is starting to be realized by the world's political leaders. A positive aspect of such a threat is that it could unite the world behind a common purpose, but this will require a drastic change in policy, primarily in the United States and the growth countries in Asia. This article argues that India and China could turn the threat from climate change into a political advantage by adopting a new development strategy, based on a demand for full access to all such technologies that may allow to quickly surpass from the dirty stage of development.

    May 2007

    Energy in Sino-American Relations: Putting Mutual Anxiety in Context

    Mutual anxiety will dictate relations between Beijing and Washington over energy and related geo-strategic matters. There is little doubt that the United States cannot tolerate obstruction, real or perceived, to its access to sufficient volumes of foreign oil, now or in the future. Also, particularly between now and the 2008 Olympics Games in Beijing, China will find it a paramount imperative not to suffer from a major reduction in or deliberate disruption to its foreign energy supply.

    May 2007

    Energy Security in Asia: The Necessity of Interdependence

    The central thesis of this article is that the Asian energy consumers would serve their interests well if they look again at their energy frontiers and define them within the contours of Asian energy interdependence rather than triggering an Asian energy race. The three leading Asian consumers, China, Japan and India, are principal actors in the Asian theatre, and their needs, assessments and policies are going to be central in defining the regional energy security agenda. Their current approaches have placed them more as competitors, which could trigger conflict situations.

    May 2007

    Iran Standoff: Repercussions for the Global Oil Market

    The pressures on Iran to roll back its uranium enrichment programme have increased with the UN Security Council imposing harsher sanctions and Washington indicating that it is even ready to carry out military strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities. The Iranian leadership, on the other hand, continues to claim that its nuclear programme is peaceful and is essential for producing electricity and helping economic development to meet the needs of a growing population.

    May 2007

    Navigational Freedoms in a Time of Insecurity

    Navigational freedoms have increasingly come under restrictions because of ecological, economic and security concerns of coastal states. Fishing vessels, oil tankers, ships carrying ultra-hazardous nuclear cargoes and even military vessels have to conform to stringent international, regional and national regulations. Often there is a conflict of interest as maritime activities of one state can interfere with the efforts of others to utilise the sea. The Law of the Sea Convention was adopted to provide a balance among these competing interests.

    March 2007

    Environmental Stresses and their Security Implications for South Asia

    In discussing the dynamics of contemporary conflicts, scholars, over the last decade, have focused on the ‘interconnectivity’ between environmental factors and violent conflict—for example between migration and environmental mismanagement, debt and violence and between ethnic conflict and resource disputes. Such an approach corresponds to the post-Cold War reexamination and redefinition of security in more comprehensive conceptual terms.

    July 2006

    Water as a Source of Conflict and Instability in China

    China’s focus on high economic growth over the last decade and ‘economy first’ principle have put serious strain on its water resources. China has only 7 per cent of the world’s total water resources but more than 20 per cent of the global population. It increasingly faces acute challenges regarding water distribution, supply, and quality, and there are clear signs that unless the state takes urgent corrective measures serious water-related conflicts and political instability may occur. For

    April 2006

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