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The Energy of Russia

Hydrocarbon Culture and Climate Change Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen, Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki, Finland
This timely book analyses the status of hydrocarbon energy in Russia as both a saleable commodity and as a source of societal and political power. Through empirical studies in domestic and foreign policy contexts, Veli-Pekka Tykkynen explores the development of a hydrocarbon culture in Russia and the impact this has on its politics, identity and approach to climate change and renewable energy.
Extent: c 176 pp
Hardback Price: $105.00 Web: $94.50
Publication Date: December 2019
ISBN: 978 1 78897 859 0
Availability: Not yet published
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  • eISBN: 978 1 78897 860 6

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  • Environment
  • Climate Change
  • Energy Policy and Regulation
  • Geography
  • Political Geography and Geopolitics
  • Politics and Public Policy
  • Environmental Governance and Regulation
  • Environmental Politics and Policy
This timely book analyses the status of hydrocarbon energy in Russia as both a saleable commodity and as a source of societal and political power. Through empirical studies in domestic and foreign policy contexts, Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen explores the development of a hydrocarbon culture in Russia and the impact this has on its politics, identity and approach to climate change and renewable energy.

Cogent and compelling, this book demonstrates how the Russian state leverages its oil and gas reserves in order to create and maintain power both domestically and internationally. Tynkkynen uses empirical studies of key topics such as the national gas programme Gazprom, the Arctic, climate discourse and anthropogenic climate change denial, and the Russia-Finland energy trade to critically examine the situation. The book concludes with a convincing argument for the potential of renewable energy to build a more resilient and sustainable future for Russia and how this might be achieved.

This will prove crucial reading for scholars and students of Russian and Eastern European studies and energy and environmental studies, as well as geographers, anthropologists and political scientists. Those working in governments, international organizations and corporations with an interest in Russian energy will also find its insights useful.
‘With a geographer’s eye for the importance of space and an eclectic theoretical toolkit, Tynkkynen provides fresh insights into the workings of hydrocarbon culture in Russia. This book’s analyses of the relationships between Russia’s dependence on fossil fuels and the science of climate change is especially interesting, not least because Tynkkynen offers his own perspectives—and concrete recommendations—on what it will take for Russia to move beyond hydrocarbon culture and embrace a renewable energy future.’
– Douglas Rogers, Yale University, US

‘This fascinating journey through Russia’s energy politics is a great read for those interested in Russia’s political developments and priorities. The book offers carefully documented insights into energy politics. At the same time, the broader picture – foreign policy consequences, challenges in the Arctic, prospects of climate change mitigation and adaptation, and the country’s future “green economy” – is always clearly and engagingly in view.’
– Elana Wilson Rowe, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), Norway

‘In this book, Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen provides a well-informed perspective on Russia as an energy superpower. Russia presents a formidable obstacle to efforts to tackle climate change, since its dependence on fossil fuels has become deeply entrenched in its domestic political institutions and foreign policy. However, by pointing to Russia's forestry resources and potential as a “green superpower”, Tynkkynen does show a possible way forward.’
– Peter Rutland, Wesleyan University, US
Contents: Preface 1. Introduction – hydrocarbon culture amidst a changing climate 2. Russia’s energy via a spatial prism – energy flows in a mycelium of power 3. Energy as domestic power – the case of Gazifikatsiya Rossii 4. Energy as international power – the case of Russian–Finnish energy trade 5. The national taboo of hydrocarbon culture – changing the Arctic environment 6. The global taboo of hydrocarbon culture – “There is no climate change” 7. The climate is changing Russia – from a hydrocarbon to an ecological culture References Index