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Energy boom in Brazil: Blessing or Curse? Policy and Development

This pre-research proposal originates from the fact that energy issues have returned to the top of the international agenda. The rise in energy prices, the increased demand for energy in China, the conflicts in Africa and Middle East, the financial crisis and the growing concerns with climate change have contributed to an intense debate on the future of our planet in ways not seen since the oil embargoes of the 1970s. This scenario poses different challenges to countries and regions: Latin America faces s imilar challenges as Europe with respect to interaction and cooperation on energy matters, be it traditional hydrocarbon or renewable sources. In the energy sector, Brazil and Norway to some extent play similar roles as energy producers on their respectiv e continents. On the other hand, given the time gap between both energy development processes, Brazil may learn from Norway how to avoid that natural resources blessing becomes a curse. The research team wants to compare how Brazil and Norway have positi oned themselves as regional cornerstones in energy matters. There are a number of aspects related to how an energy nation liaises with its regional neighbours, both in pure political terms, but also in areas such as energy exchange, security of energy sup ply, energy infrastructure, energy mix, energy and the environment, energy and social benefits etc., which all fit in the border zone between governments and (semi)commercial stakeholders in defining national policies. The research team aims to investigat e and assess all these aspects.The research team will proceed with different thematic areas: 1) the Brazilian energy strategies with its neighbour countries; 2) the Brazilian approach to regional and worldwide economic organisations; 3) the Brazilian ene rgy strategies vis-à-vis USA, China, and Norway.

Claudia Morsut
01.04.2009 - 30.06.2009