Calls for papers


International Journal of Global Energy Issues
International Journal of Global Energy Issues


Special Issue on: "Energy Issues and Narratives in Global Affairs, International Relations and World History"

Guest Editor:
Lim Tai Wei, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Every decade or so, energy narratives focus on a new development or revolution in the use of energy. These developments are related to the issue of energy transitions from fossil fuels such as coal to oil and then to natural gas, simultaneous with narratives about alternative sources of energy.

The 1950s and 1960s was a period of economic growth for many developed economies based on affordable oil energy that became an alternative to coal energy (historically the main fuel of the industrial revolution). The 1970s oil crises or oil shocks focused on diversification to non-fossil fuel sources of energy such as nuclear power. The 1980s and 1990s onwards witnessed a continuing narrative on the environmental benefits of renewable sources of energy and the fossil fuel demand from large emerging economies of the 21st century reinforced this idea.

In the contemporary period, the shale oil and gas revolution marks another milestone in this evolving energy narrative.

This special issue is interested in the following objectives. Firstly, how do contemporary developments and historical narratives on energy shape international relations and global affairs? How can they be examined through the lens of realism, constructivism, social history, conflicts and peace studies? How do they feature in constructed ideas or pragmatic realities of energy "silk roads" and "potentially exploitable" maritime resources?

Secondly, what are the latest debates in energy development and hot topics/issues related to energy use? How are they shaped by ideas of ethical consumption and issues of sustainability? What are the latest academic discussions on the balance between overdependence, diversification and alternatives to any single source of fuel.

Thirdly, what can we learn from studying the historical narratives and interpretations of energy transitions? Is the path heading towards the direction of relying on environmentally cleaner fuels deterministic? What are the debates surrounding the benchmarks for determining the environmental value of fuels? Or is energy consumption cyclical in going back to traditional sources of energy that existed in pre-modernity (e.g. waterwheels and hydropower)? Will the oil shale and gas revolution bring back the significance of fossil fuels again? Can we spot issues of continuity and discontinuity in these areas? And were the discontinuities a response to external impacts and shocks? If so, what were these impacts and shocks?

This call for papers is a multidisciplinary platform to discuss these issues, welcoming original research articles, commentaries, review articles and book reviews.

Subject Coverage
Suitable topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The shale oil and gas revolution
  • International relations and global affairs issues related to the field of energy
  • Energy use and environmental impacts
  • Energy issues pertaining to demand by large emerging economies
  • The Great East Japan Earthquake's impact on the energy needs of East Asia
  • The environmental impact of energy use and the role of environmental NGOs
  • Corporate social responsibility, ethical consumption and issues of sustainability in energy use
  • Alternative sources of energy: solar, hydropower, methane hydrate, wind, etc.
  • Historical interpretations and narratives of energy use, including revisionist accounts and the role of energy in world history
  • Commentaries, critiques and studies of energy policies as case studies
  • The future of fossil fuels

Notes for Prospective Authors

Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. (N.B. Conference papers may only be submitted if the paper has been completely re-written and if appropriate written permissions have been obtained from any copyright holders of the original paper).

All papers are refereed through a peer review process.

All papers must be submitted online. To submit a paper, please read our Submitting articles page.

Important Dates

Manuscripts due by: 31 December, 2014

Notification to authors: 1 June, 2015

Final versions due by: 1 June, 2016