Global Energy Transitions and Political Systems

29 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2019

See all articles by Jungwoo Lee

Jungwoo Lee

Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP)

Jae-Suk Yang

Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)

Date Written: July 3, 2019

Abstract

Transitioning from one form of energy to another has led to social change in areas such as production methods, quality of life, and labor productivity. In addition, there is a relationship between this social change and the emergence of different types of political systems. Surprisingly, there are not many studies on the relationship between energy transitions and changes in political systems. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that the transition from one form of energy to another has historically determined the type of political system, and that this causal relationship has evolved through the ages. A three-stage approach was used in this study to examine this relationship in the past and present, and to predict coming changes in the future. The main finding is that from the foraging period to the oil age, energy has been a key factor in determining political systems. However, with the expansion of energy trade between nations and the emergence of new technology options, the situation has been reversed: political systems have now become a determinant of energy transitions. Also, even democratic countries have been unwilling to transition to new forms of energy, preferring instead to maintain fossil fuel-based energy systems.

Suggested Citation

Lee, Jungwoo and Yang, Jae-Suk, Global Energy Transitions and Political Systems (July 3, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3414503 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3414503

Jungwoo Lee

Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) ( email )

114-gil, Teheran-ro
Gangnam-gu
Seoul, 06175
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

Jae-Suk Yang (Contact Author)

Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) ( email )

291 Daehak-ro
Yuseong-gu
Daejeon, 34141
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

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