Versita

INTERRELATIONS BETWEEN ENERGY SECURITY ECONOMICS AND SOCIAL COHESION: ANALYSIS OF A LITHUANIAN CASE

Dainius Genys, Ričardas Krikštolaitis
Keywords: Energy security economics, social cohesion, public attitude, public behavior, Lithuania ,

Abstract

Growing attention to sustainable development in academic discourse fosters discussions on how energy security affects society. In most cases the discussions consider the political and economic consequences, which affect or may affect the society. The aim of the article is to assess the impact of energy security economics on social cohesion in Lithuania. To achieve this aim the interrelations between energy security, energy economics and social cohesion are discussed. The theoretical framework of social cohesion (introduced by J. Jenson and P. Bernard) is presented and applied in empirical analysis. The operationalization of empirical variables is based on economic, political and socio-cultural - activity areas, which are analyzed to verify the dichotomies between public attitudes and the actual behavior of society. These dichotomies help to distinguish six analytical dimensions, on the basis of which we created 17 empirical indicators, which analysis allows for describing the impact of Lithuanian energy security economics on social cohesion in quantitative data.
The statistical analyses showed that the impact of attitudinal dimensions of energy security economics on social cohesion in Lithuania has an almost neutral effect: 3.05 (1-very negative; 3-neutral, 5-very positive). Whereas, the impact of behavioural dimensions of energy security economics on social cohesion has a negative effect: 2.47. The aggregated average of the overall impact of energy security economics on social cohesion in Lithuania has a negative effect: 2.76.
The article consists of four parts. The first part presents the interrelations between energy security, economy and social cohesion as well as discusses the theoretical framework that is used in empirical analysis. The  second briefly provides the operationalization of the theoretical model, and concrete indicators that are used in the analysis and presents main statistic characteristics of indicators. The third part explains the results and stresses main discoveries taking into account the distribution of energy expenses for energy security among society. The fourth elaborates the noticeable differences among different social groups (in regard to age, education, income and living area)