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Title: Energy foreign policy and the indispensable state : an assessment of the roles and the capacity of the Chinese state in its pursuit of energy resources
Author: Lu, Yang
ISNI:       0000 0004 2739 5268
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2012
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The growing importance of oil supplies in the context of the failure of domestic sources to satisfy demand and the continuing growth of the economy has meant that the establishment of secure energy supplies has become an issue of central importance to China. China's response has led to substantial debate in the West with some seeing it as part of broader mercantilist move to establish Chinese dominance and others seeing China as attempting to adapt to market forces. Moving away from such debates, this project focuses on the role and capacity of the Chinese state in ensuring energy security. The central argument running through the thesis is that it is not possible to come to terms with Chinese energy policy without acknowledging a central position for the Chinese state. Making this argument involves conceptualising the Chinese state as being located within three different contexts: that is, in the context of domestic political decision-making institutions; in the relational context of domestic political institutions and energy companies; and in the context of its dealings with external structures, namely foreign energy producers and the global market. However, it is also argued that many existing assessments of the Chinese state fail to take sufficient account of its complex and changing role and indeed capacity. As a consequence, it is necessary to view the Chinese state and Chinese energy policy as part of a broader historical process. The thesis suggests that the Chinese state plays three decisive roles in the process of securing energy resources globally: the state as a strategic broker; the state as a business facilitator; and the state as an industry regulator. It also suggests that on the whole, the political capacity of the state to deal with internal and external constraints that arise from its dealings with energy issues can be described in terms of three distinctive modes: authoritative, adaptive and constitutive. Making these suggestions has involved applying a conceptual framework, which consist concepts of 'adaptive state', 'constitutive state' and 'a process of internalisa- tion and internationalisation of the state', drawn from the work of Linda Weiss, John Hobson and Yongjin Zhang. By applying the framework in the context of Chinese energy policy, the thesis demonstrates the virtue of adopting an eclectic approach to the study of the state and provides a persuasive account of the dynamic roles and capacity of the Chinese state exhibited through an evolution of Chinese energy policy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available