Center for German and European Studies

The Threat and Temptations of Russian Energy Chains: Margarita Balmaceda in Conversation with Douglas Rogers

In cooperation with the Department of German, Russian, and Asian Languages and Literature and the Department of Politics.

Thursday, February 17th, 2022 
12:00 p.m. EST (US)
Zoom Webinar

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About the Event

Book cover of 'Russian Energy Chains'We often hear about Russia’s use of energy as a weapon and element of threats against post-Soviet states such as Ukraine. Yet we cannot understand the threats of Russia’s energy power without also understanding the temptations for actors in these states to participate in the value chains of Russian energy, from corruption-related profits to transportation fee income to subsidized prices. This tension between energy threats and temptations along value chains running from Siberia to Ukraine to Germany is the puzzle taken up in Margarita Balmaceda’s new book, Russian Energy Chains: The Remaking of Technopolitics from Siberia to Ukraine to the European Union (Columbia University Press, 2021). Following three energy molecules (a natural gas molecule, an oil molecule, and a coal molecule) traveling from production in Siberia to final use in Germany, via Ukraine, the book analyzes how the different material characteristics of different energy types affect how each can be used and misused―technically and politically, by external and domestic actors.

Against the background of a new crisis looming over Europe, Margarita Balmaceda will be exploring these issues in conversation with Douglas Rogers.

Russian Energy Chains is available for purchase here. Use code CUP20 at checkout for 20% discount; chapter one of the book is also available at the above link.

About the Speakers

Margarita Balmaceda is a political scientist working at the intersection of Portrait of Margarita Balmaceda smiling with a hard hat on at a factoryinternational relations, political economy and technology, with a special expertise in energy, steel, and metallurgy in the former USSR and the EU. She is Professor of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University and an Associate at the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute. Concurrently, she heads the Study Group on “Energy materiality: Infrastructure, Spatiality and Power” at the Hanse Wissenschaftskolleg (Germany). She has conducted extensive research in Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Lithuania, Moldova, Hungary, Germany and Finland.

Close-up portrait of Douglas Rogers smilingDouglas Rogers is Professor and Chair of Anthropology at Yale University, and a former faculty director of Yale’s Program in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies. He is the author of The Depths of Russia: Oil, Power, and Culture After Socialism (Cornell University Press, 2015).