International political economy: A field born of the OPEC crisis returns to its energy roots
International political economy (IPE) is a multidisciplinary field which officially falls under the political science discipline in the United States. IPE of energy is a nascent field to which scholars have only recently started to identify. IPE scholarship generally focuses on issues where politics and economics intersect, and looks at a variety of actors, including individuals, states, and international organizations. Since IPE's official founding in the 1970s, following the energy crises and the end of the gold standard, most energy research has focused on issues related to oil, such as OPEC, the "resource curse," oil companies, and wealthy countries' domestic policies and politics as they relate to oil. We suggest a number of promising areas for research: on the theoretical side, making politics explicit and incorporating international organizations, global governance, regionalism, community interests, international structure, ideas and identity, and inter- and intra-disciplinary research. We also suggest three issue areas - renewable, nuclear, natural gas, and coal as energy sources; electricity; and sovereign wealth funds.
Energy Research and Social Science