Book Review: Svein S. Andersen, Andreas Goldthau and Nick Sitter (Eds), Energy Union: Europe’s New Liberal Mercantilism?

Date01 April 2018
Published date01 April 2018
Subject MatterBook Reviews
Book Reviews 205
BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiatives in Multi Sectoral Technical and Economic
Cooperation) and calls them ‘siblings’ with both born in year 1997 and therefore
having overlapping agendas. He enlists some wishful thinking on their coordina-
tion possibilities and could have analysed what explains lack of it so far. Chapters
on traditional and non-traditional security by Satish Soni and the TERI (The
Energy Research Institute) team both find maritime order lacking in IOR and call
it ‘neglected and exploited’ as they do some speculative kite flying with TERI
team emphasizing how IOR does not have adequate measures in place to prevent
invasion by alien species. Gopal Suri underlines how Indian state has been shy of
using force in furthering foreign policy and has only lately begun to appreciate
naval diplomacy which involves not just joint naval exercises, port visits to
friendly countries but also involves stitching together elements of deterrence and
compellence into it. This has lately been happening as is visible in launching of
India’s nuclear submarine earlier this year.
In the end, editor underlines extreme diversity of IOR littoral. Several of them
were battlegrounds of proxy wars of superpowers. Others continue to face globali-
zation, state failures, jihadist extremism, thus grinding down institutional capacities.
Meanwhile, enduring balance-of-power frame has not only just made Chinese build
port infrastructure across IOR and a ‘logistics’ base in Djibouti, but even the UK,
which had withdrawn east of Suez since the early 1960s, has recently set up a naval
base in Bahrain. Such power-driven contestations feeding on trust-deficit have not
allowed the holistic-system-wide approach to appreciate ground realities and emerg-
ing new challenges to deliver high-end governance with micro-coordination with
local assets and traditions. The book makes a very readable presentation of various
perspectives and will be useful for not just scholars with deeper intent in matters
maritime but also for others with general interest in Indian Ocean affairs.
Swaran Singh
Centre for International Politics, Organisation and Disarmament
School of International Studies
Jawaharlal Nehru University
New Delhi, India
Svein S. Andersen, Andreas Goldthau and Nick Sitter (Eds), Energy
Union: Europe’s New Liberal Mercantilism? (International Political
Economy Series) (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), 253 pp. € 119.99
DOI: 10.1177/0020881718791854
The proposal for the European Union (EU)-wide Energy Union by the European
Commission in 2015 underlines the EU’s ambition to attain secure, sustainable,
competitive and affordable energy for every European through integrated goals of

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