Historical Social Research

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Rüdiger Graf, Between National and Human Security: Energy Security in the United States and Western Europe in the 1970s [Abstract]

The article examines, on the one hand, the changes to the concept of energy security in the second half of the twentieth century, particularly in the 1970s, and on the other hand, the influence of these conceptual changes on the overall change to the perception and architecture of “security”. It argues that the concept of “energy security” lost its close connection to state and military security while being extended with respect to its spatial scope, reference object, issues, and classification of dangers. This extended the notion of energy security and, in turn, exerted a crucial influence on the overall extension of the security debates from state to human security via the Brandt, Palme and Brundtland Commissions, which tried to address global security issues. Thus, in the 1970s our current energy and security constellation emerged, partially superseding the logic of the Cold War.