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Biofuels in international relations: between global governance and energy independence for Brazil, the European Union and the United States

Grant number: 14/13651-2
Support Opportunities:Program for Research on Bioenergy (BIOEN) - Regular Program Grants
Duration: May 01, 2015 - June 30, 2017
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Political Science - International Politics
Principal Investigator:Paulo César Souza Manduca
Grantee:Paulo César Souza Manduca
Host Institution: Núcleo Interdisciplinar de Planejamento Energético (NIPE). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers: Adriana Vilella Nilsson ; Ariel Finguerut ; Francisco Del Moral Hernandez ; Frank Rosillo-Calle ; Henry Iure de Paiva Silva ; José Alexandre Altahyde Hage ; Klaus Guimarães Dalgaard ; Luís Alexandre Fuccille ; Mauro Donizeti Berni ; Pascoal Teófilo Carvalho Gonçalves ; Shiguenoli Miyamoto ; Stefano Ponte


This research project's objective is to analyze the emerging process for the creation of a global biofuels market in the context of new concepts of energy security, with reference to the interrelation between the main actors in this field - Brazil, the European Union and the United States - with the International Regimes and multilateral agencies that act on this matter. Using an adapted version of Robert Putnam's "two-level game" theory (1988), we analyze how these three actors' domestic spheres influence the international dimension, and vice versa - that is, how the various global governance structures that regard biofuels, in turn, affect these domestic actors' interests and preferences. Thus, we make an integrated analysis of all factors - be they domestic or international, state or non-state - that influence the decision-making process regarding the creation of global governance structures for biofuels, including the various motivations behind the interests of the actors in question, ranging from strategic and geopolitical concerns about energy security to environmental sustainability and food security. Based on the findings from the research on the abovementioned issues, we will make a comparative analysis of these three actors, from which we will also develop holistic theoretical conclusions about the nature of the role and dynamics of biofuels in International Relations. In addition to making an important contribution to the literature on this topic, the knowledge generated by this project can potentially assist Brazilian decision makers, biofuel producers and society to develop better means to plan their insertion and participation in a new global economic cycle that is currently emerging from the so-called low carbon economy. (AU)

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