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Racing to the Top – How Energy Fuels System Leadership in World Politics - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Racing to the Top: How Energy Fuels System Leadership in World Politics

William R. Thompson and Leila Zakhirova


Over the past two millennia, one state has tended to lead as the foremost producer of energy and new technology. While it has not been fully recognized, these leads have become increasingly reliant on energy transitions that make new technological innovations relatively inexpensive. Since the edge of the incumbent system leader (the United States) appears to be eroding, the question is what might come next. As carbon-based fuels become scarcer and/or more damaging, new sources of energy will be needed. Renewable energy will be one of those sources, but it remains unclear whether a renewable re ... More

Keywords: systemic leadership, energy transition, industrialization, renewable energy, global warming, climate change, lead economy, leadership long cycle, carbon fuels, fracking, decarbonization, international political economy

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780190699680
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2018 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190699680.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

William R. Thompson, author
IU Distinguished and Rogers Professor of Political Science, Indiana University Bloomington

Leila Zakhirova, author
Assistant Professor of Political Science, Concordia College