Publications of Witte, J.M.

Assessing OPEC’s Performance in Global Energy

This article examines OPEC’s performance in regulating output and prices in the global oil market during its 50 years of existence. In addition, it discusses key trends that are likely to determine OPEC’s effectiveness in the years ahead, particularly climate change policies. We find that OPEC’s ability to control the oil market singlehandedly has historically been limited, as a result of both internal collective action problems and external factors such as the rise of new producers. Furthermore, we find that climate change policies may negatively impact long-term planning security for investment and hence OPEC’s ability to target price bands and smooth the oil market. We argue that OPEC will need to become more proactive in low-carbon policies to remain part of the decision making on future energy demand patterns that affects its main export product. We also submit that OPEC has a great role to play in fighting price volatility, a key concern for both producers and consumers, and that the best platform for enhanced efforts in this regard would probably be the International Energy Forum.

Global Energy Governance : The New Rules of the Game

The global market for oil and gas resources is rapidly changing. Three major trends – the rise of new consumers, the increasing influence of state players, and concerns about climate change – are combining to challenge existing regulatory structures, many of which have been in place for a half-century. "Global Energy Governance" analyzes the energy market from an institutionalist perspective and offers practical policy recommendations to deal with these new challenges. Much of the existing discourse on energy governance deals with hard security issues but neglects the challenges to global governance. "Global Energy Governance" fills this gap with perspectives on how regulatory institutions can ensure reliable sources of energy, evaluate financial risk, and provide emergency response mechanisms to deal with interruptions in supply. The authors bring together decisionmakers from industry, government, and civil society in order to address two central questions: What are the current practices of existing institutions governing global oil and gas on financial markets? How do these institutions need to adapt in order to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century? The resulting governance-oriented analysis of the three interlocking trends also provides the basis for policy recommendations to improve global regulation.

Goldthau A. Energy diplomacy in trade and investment of oil and gas. In: Goldthau A, Witte JM, editors. Global energy governance : the new rules of the game. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press; 2010. p. 25-49.
Goldthau A, Witte JM. The role of rules and institutions in global energy: an introduction. In: Global energy governance : the new rules of the game. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press; 2010. p. 1-24.
Goldthau A, Witte JM, Hoxtell W. Global energy governance : the way forward. In: Global energy governance : the new rules of the game. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press; 2010. p. 341-57.

Back to the future or forward to the past? : strengthening markets and rules for effective global energy governance

Current public policy debates on energy security are characterized by a singular focus on questions regarding access to resources. This lopsided attention to the geopolitical dimension of energy security is based on the myopic and erroneous presumption that global energy politics is necessarily a zero-sum game in which one country's energy security is another's lack thereof.In fact, debates deflect attention from the real issues that policy-makers should consider in their attempts to foster effective global energy governance-the central role increasingly international energy markets play in balancing demand and supply-and, even more importantly, the significance of the 'rules of the game' that structure these markets.This article makes a first attempt to apply a broader analytical lens by pointing out and analyzing the important role rules play in determining outcomes in international oil and gas markets; by examining how current trends are affecting the existing 'rules of the game'; and by highlighting consequences for public policy.