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‘The Alternative Energy Megatrend: A Global Security Discourse in the Universally-Securitized World’

A project of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Author

The study ‘The Alternative Energy Megatrend: A Global Security Discourse in the Universally Securitized World’ is an inquiry into security connotations and implications of one relatively new and yet to be fully understood global phenomenon – the ascent of alternative energy-related events as a socio-political and techno-economic megatrend. It presents these developments as a significant factor in a world where security has become a universally applicable consideration of society and political agents. The analysis seeks deeper insight into the multifaceted nature of modern security issues, which have broadened to encompass explicit (geopolitical, energy and defense) and implicit (environmental and economic) security considerations. By exploring the emergence of the alternative energy megatrend from the changes and transformations after the end of the Cold War, this book outlines the manner in which security is increasingly attached to different strategic interests and the intensifying pursuit of local, regional and global influence by different actors. The analysis of the megatrend’s development reinforces the notion of a modern world that is universally securitized, emphasizing the imperative for prioritization of security considerations.

From the perspective provided by the alternative energy developments, the study analyzes:

  • The emergence of alternative energy as a 21st Century megatrend, spurred by a historical build-up of socio-political and socio-economic conditions and notions that have achieved critical mass under the transformative conditions of the post-Cold War paradigm shift.
  • The modern global security context, introducing the notion of a universally securitized world where virtually any issue can have security connotations, and the corresponding necessity to prioritize security threats and mitigation in order to achieve meaningful securitization.
  • The reshaping of traditional geopolitical divisions, such as those between the Core and Periphery, East and West, North and South, as well as the manner in which the roles of state and non-state actors would be changed in the evolving global security tapestry.
  • The role of alternative energy in the global energy rebalancing and in the evolution of energy security considerations and policies that the constantly changing fossil fuel supply and demand paradigm.
  • The growing influence of modern trends on future defense policies as well as military doctrine and planning, including logistics, operational effectiveness and enhanced abilities to project military power swiftly across vast distances, as well as calculations of readiness, efficiency, contingency planning and transformed force postures.
  • The contribution of alternative energy developments to the redefinition of environmental security, which is increasingly gaining ground in national security agendas, by staking a claim as a universal solution to environmental security threats and risks.
  • The extent to which economic security considerations are coming to weigh upon policy and strategy making, and the effect of new trends and technologies on the evolving notion of economic security.
  • The potential future of the megatrend, whether it will dissipate or continue to grow, and specific policy areas that deserve greater focus: steadily increasing the reliance on an alternative energy market; democratizing innovation and keeping the horizons open; and establishing securitization mechanisms for the megatrend itself.

On the basis of the examination of these various aspects, the study assesses the possibilities of the imminent demise or continued growth of the megatrend and respectively extrapolates its potential security implications. The already demonstrated capacity of this megatrend to both transform and be transformed sheds new light on future security and geopolitical developments. The examination of potential changes in strategies, geopolitical stances and power projection capabilities of actors that emerge points out the problematic nature of modern securitization mechanisms. On that basis, the study points to three areas deserving heightened focus by policy-makers: steadily increasing the reliance on an alternative energy market; keeping the innovation horizons open; and establishing securitization mechanisms for the megatrend itself.

Although raising many new questions, the book provides a new perspective of how the impact of modern developments and trends is increasingly integrated in a broadening scope of areas of activity, political interests and societal aspirations. It brings together traditional security notions and practices with the new approaches that endeavor to deconstruct the post-Cold War geopolitical and security transformations that still lack adequate explanation. The convergence of alternative energy developments and security complexities would provide food for thought for those interested in geopolitics, security and international relations, as well as energy and environmental security practitioners.

‘Defense and Security Budgeting in Democratic Countries’

A project of the National Security Studies Center, University of Haifa, Israel Co-author with Dr. Norman Bailey, Lecturer, National Security Studies Center, University of Haifa, Israel and David Brodet, Chairman of the Board, Bank Leumi le-Israel

Defense budgeting processes in democratic countries differ not only in size, but in their actual form and rules governing those processes. In some countries they are more strictly bound by rules, while in others they are more decentralized. This study evaluates the potential for misallocation of defense resources, impact on defense effectiveness and overall effect on different countries’ international stance of defense budgetary processes. It considers how the planning functions of budgeting are often modified and reshaped by political considerations, which renders any attempt on the part of the agencies and departments involved to implement policy and process strategies in their particular areas unviable. The analysis makes comparison of three countries – the U.S., the UK and Israel, exploring the specific steps that comprise defense budgeting in each, and drawing conclusions about the contrasts and similarities between them. It determines that in democratic countries, no defense budgeting process remains purely within the realm of national security, but is rather injected with socio-political and socio-economic interests that have repercussions about the appropriate resource allocation to the defense sector.

‘Global Perspectives on Europe's Strategic Future’

A project of the Atlantic Council of the US and Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies, London Co-author with Prof. Michael Clarke, Director General, RUSI; Dr. Jonathan Eyal, Director of International Security Studies, RUSI; Dr. Shen Dingli, Professor of international relations, Fudan University, China; Hassan al Ibrahim, Strategy Consultant, Government of Qatar and Founder, Fikra Consulting and Research; Jeff Lightfoot, Deputy Director, The Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, Atlantic Council of the US; Dr. Pratap Bhanu Mehta, President, Centre for Policy Research, Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi, India; and Barry Pavel, Director, The Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, Atlantic Council of the US

This is a compendium of analytical studies assessing the strategic and geopolitical future of Europe. They examine the role of Europe in the global political economy and geopolitical relations from the perspectives of Europe itself, as well as the U.S. and other regions, in particular Asia. Overall, the studies consider that Europe’s future geopolitical role will be shaped by the ways in which the European Union reconciles its deep-seated structural problems. The progression or digression of military, economic and political union will decide Europe’s engagement in the world, and whether it can project influence independently or will continue to rely on soft power and multilateral approaches. Ultimately, Europe’s international standing rests on the ability of the European Union to sustain itself, which in turn is dependent on the political will of the Europeans themselves. The analysis anticipates that Europe’s geopolitical role is undergoing changes that can prove significant, but the fundamental factors of European geopolitical weight are unlikely to evolve beyond recognition, and will still rest on the economic, cultural, socio-political, and military wherewithal that specific member countries would possess and be willing to exert on behalf of the respective guise that the European Union will don in the future.

‘Economic Security & Statecraft: The Quest for a New Global Economic Equilibrium’

Co-author with Dr. Norman Bailey, Lecturer, National Security Studies Center, University of Haifa, Israel

 ‘Economic Security & Statecraft: The Quest for a New Global Economic Equilibrium’ explores the multiple interconnected phenomena that aggregate daily occurrences with pervasive trends and could be said to place countries, regions and the world itself at a turning point at the beginning of the 21st century. These phenomena, coupled with the appearance of unanticipated and unforeseen social, political and economic developments, have made both the reasonable accuracy of predictions and the adoption of corresponding policies problematic. This is a study of the new elements of disequilibrium in the global political economy, how these elements mutually influence each other and what the impediments are to achieving equilibrium. The study analyzes the evolving notion of global economic security and the various factors that endow it with a growing significance for policy-makers worldwide. Through the prism of the divergent influences that impact the world economy today, it sets out specific aspects of policy-making and statecraft that could prove a worthwhile area of focus in what is widely assumed to be a post-Western world. The study considers how the importance of economic statecraft has gradually become equal and, to an extent, supersedes the importance of international relations for state actors, setting the stage for the emergence of geo-economics as a prioritized tool to be wielded by policy-makers.