• Focus Area -
  • Type KAPSARC journal article
  • Date 1 August 2021


Energy remains essential to all forms of economic and military activity and constitutes one of the most valuable and strategic commodities in international trade. Using the newly released Global Energy Relations Dataset, we assess whether trade in energy resources systematically affect bilateral relations between an importer and its exporter. More specifically, we contrast the liberal expectation that dependence on trade in energy pacifies with the realist expectation that the vulnerabilities created via dependence on energy trade will lead to conflictual relations. Our random coefficient regression models indicate that the more dependent an importer is to an exporter for energy, the more pacific the importer will be towards that exporter. Different types of energy resources pacify importers to varying degrees; importers are less reluctant to initiate conflict against their exporters of more fungible energy resources. Accordingly, our findings show that this pacifying effect is minimal for coal and oil. Trade in electricity emerges as a stronger pacifier. We find natural gas to be the most potent pacifying energy resource. Our study also contributes to the debate on the geopolitical implications of global energy flows by pointing out to regional variations in how countries manage their relations vis-à-vis their energy suppliers.


Science Direct


Osman Zeki Gökçe

Osman Zeki Gökçe

Emre Hatipoglu

Research Fellow Emre Hatipoglu is a fellow in the Oil and Gas program and leads the research project Energy Markets and Geopolitics.… Emre Hatipoglu is a fellow in the Oil and Gas program and leads the research project Energy Markets and Geopolitics. In this project, Dr. Hatipoglu and his colleagues assess how political events (e.g., international conflict, economic sanctions, international treaties) and global energy markets interact. Prior to KAPSARC, Dr. Hatipoglu was associate professor at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Sabanci University in Istanbul and a a visiting Fulbrighter during the 2017-2018 academic year at Columbia University. He also served on the advisory board of Sakip Sabanci Center for Turkish Studies at Columbia University between 2016-2018. Dr. Hatipoglu’s work has been published in various scientific journals, such as the Journal of Politics, Energy Research and Social Science, Energy Reports, Foreign Policy Analysis, the Journal of Commodity Markets, and Defence and Peace Economics, among others. He is the editor-in-chief of the journal Energy Transitions, and serves on the editorial board of the International Studies Review.      


  • Geopolitics
  • Economic Sanctions and International Politics of Energy Trade

Publications See all Emre Hatipoglu’s publications

Mehmet Ali Soytas

Mehmet Ali Soytas

Former Senior Research Associate Dr. Soytas was a senior research associate in the Policy and Decision Science program. He has previously worked as a… Dr. Soytas was a senior research associate in the Policy and Decision Science program. He has previously worked as a graduate research assistant in the Center for Industry Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, as a consultant for the World Bank, and as an assistant professor of economics at Ozyegin University (Istanbul). During his academic career, he served as a consultant for the Energy Exchange Istanbul, as the reporter of the Turkish Ministry of Development Special Commission on Consumption and Savings, and as the director of the TUSIAD-Ozyegin University Sustainable Development Forum. He has had several research projects funded by the Turkish National Science Foundation, authored numerous articles in the fields of labor economics, economic policy, econometrics, and corporate sustainability, supervised Ph.D. dissertations, and presented at major economic conferences. Dr. Soytas has taught courses on microeconomics, econometrics, statistics, and labor economics at the University of Pittsburgh and at Ozyegin University. He has organized workshops and seminar series, and acted as a referee for many national/international journals, and European and Turkish science foundation grants. He has also been a visiting scholar at Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Washington University in St. Louis, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey, University of Pittsburgh and Australian National University.

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