PE Seminar Series | The Global Political Economy of Energy Transitions

5 April, 2018
4:00pm - 5:30pm


What does IPE have to contribute to pressing policy and academic debates about the urgently required transition to a low carbon global economy? Despite the obviously global, political and economic dimensions of such a transition – often likened to the ‘great transformation’ or the Industrial Revolution in its magnitude – insights from IPE have yet to be brought to bear on the question of what form such a transition might take: the relations of power which will frustrate or enable it; the historical precedents for previous transformations in dominant structures of production, finance and technology in the global economy; and the potentially central role of the state and institutions of global governance. This talk seeks to contribute to the analysis of transitions grounded in different strands of critical IPE literature. It focusses, in turn, on the role of the state in transitions; the ways in which the globalisation of the global economy structures the possibility and likely form of transitions; and the role of global governance institutions in key energy and economic domains. For scholars of IPE, it demonstrates the centrality of energy in linking power, production and world order and highlights the need to further engage with questions of transformation in energy systems that are central to the organisation of the global political economy. This throws up questions around production, finance, technology, governance and justice which IPE scholars should be well placed to speak to, while requiring that energy takes up its rightful place as a lens for understanding and revising orthodox comprehensions of political, economic and social processes.


About the speaker:

Prof Peter Newell was awarded an ESRC Climate Change Leadership Fellow to work on The Governance of Clean Development ( Prior to this he held posts as Professor of Development Studies at the University of East Anglia; James Martin Fellow at the Oxford University Centre for the Environment; Principal Fellow in the Centre for the Study of Globalization and Regionalization, University of Warwick; Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex; associate researcher at FLACSO Argentina and researcher and lobbyist for Climate Network Europe in Brussels.


He has worked on issues of environment and development, especially climate change, for over 18 years and conducted research and policy work for the governments of the UK, Sweden and Finland as well as international organizations such as the United Nations Development Programme, the Global Environment Facility and the Inter-American Development Bank. He has been called upon to give presentations and evidence to the UK parliament on a number of occasions and to provide training to commonwealth parliamentarians. He also worked extensively with and for NGOs including Friends of the Earth, Climate Network Europe, the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development, Practical Action, Transparency International, Care and the International Council on Human Rights Policy. He is a trustee of the One World Trust and chairs the group’s Independent Advisory Panel. In addition, he was worked closely with a range of businesses on issues of climate change and Corporate Social Responsibility both as lobbyist and provider of training and advisory services.

Location: Merewether Room 426, Butlin Avenue, Unviersity of Sydney