Energy security, normative dilemmas, and institutional camouflage: Europe's pragmatism

Steve Wood*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The European Union's dense web of institutions is usually regarded as enabling better decision making and interest representation in the European Union's external relations. Combined with the European Union's ambiguous nature, the institutional complex can also function as a foil for governments when tension between material imperatives and declared normative foundations and ambitions is high. The energy-democracy relationship divulges a "pragmatic-realist institutionalism" on the part of European politicians, officials, and agencies. A logic of collective inaction toward difficult but essential "partners," rather than one of ethical "appropriateness," has developed and indicates the limits of normative policy and theory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)611-635
Number of pages25
JournalPolitics and Policy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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