Ashok Sharma, India’s Pursuit of Energy Security: Domestic Measures, Foreign Policy and Geopolitics

AuthorPramod Kumar
Date01 October 2021
Published date01 October 2021
Subject MatterBook Reviews
International Studies
58(4) 535 –538, 2022
© 2021 Jawaharlal Nehru University
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DOI: 10.1177/00208817211045237
Book Review
Ashok Sharma, India’s Pursuit of Energy Security: Domestic
Measures, Foreign Policy and Geopolitics (SAGE Publications, 2019),
440 pp. INR908, ISBN: 978-93-532-8539-5 (Hardcover).
The outburst of the oil crisis in 1970 has triggered energy security as a paramount
issue in the countries’ foreign policy across the globe. Subsequently, energy
security draws a decisive role in shaping their economic development and matters
of national security. Analogous development in the global energy market has
brought significant repercussions to international politics. However, energy
security is contextual, polysemic and multidimensional, creating difficulties in
defining it (Chester, 2010). Consequently, energy security lacks a standard
definition. Daniel Yergin defines energy security as reliable and affordable access
to energy supply, diversification, integration into the energy market and
information provision (Yergin, 2006). In the 21st century—in the light of threats
of climate change—energy security can also be conceptualized within the
framework of four ‘A’s: Availability, Accessibility, Affordability and Acceptability,
though it does not address all existing concerns of energy security (Cherp &
Jewel, 2014).
In his India’s Pursuit of Energy Security: Domestic Measure, Foreign Policy
and Geopolitics, Ashok Sharma forcefully argues that India conceptualize its
energy security under the framework of four ‘A’s. The book evaluates India’s high
energy import dependency, insufficient domestic energy production, lack of
modern technology to harness nuclear and renewable energy and low energy
efficiency and energy geopolitics. Ashok Sharma attempts to examine and explain
India’s pursuit of energy security at the domestic, regional and international levels
and undertakes a thorough analysis of chapters to understand the domestic,
institutional and geopolitical complexities associated with India’s ambition to
strengthen its energy security.
The author discusses India’s inadequate share in world energy reserve, its
increasing hydrocarbon import dependency abroad, and the high role of coal in
the energy mix. Then he explains India’s energy settings at the domestic,
international and environmental levels. The book argues that energy security is a
significant concern next only to food security and that the need for energy security
as a transition to total energy independence, to highlight India’s commitment to
policy and activity level in strengthening its energy security.
AQ: 1

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