Russia’s Energy Policies

Russia’s Energy Policies

National, Interregional and Global Levels

Edited by Pami Aalto

Russia's vast energy reserves, and its policies towards them have enormous importance in the current geopolitical landscape. This important book examines Russia’s energy policies on the national, interregional and global level. It pays particular attention to energy policy actors ranging from state, federal and regional actors, to energy companies and international financial actors and organizations. The book models the formation of Russia’s energy policies in terms of how energy policy actors perceive and map their policy environment.

Chapter 10: Russian Energy Dilemmas: Energy Security, Globalization and Climate Change

Michael Bradshaw

Subjects: environment, energy policy and regulation, politics and public policy, public policy


Michael Bradshaw1 INTRODUCTION The World’s energy system is at a crossroads. Current global trends in energy supply and consumption are patently unstable – environmentally, economically and socially. But that can-and must-be altered; there’s still time to change the road we’re on. (IEA, 2008, p. 3) This chapter is somewhat different from the detailed case studies presented so far in this book. Although the same theoretical model is used, the focus here is on the big issues that will shape the context for Russian energy policy-making over the next 20 years or so. In doing so, the chapter taps the structural dimensions of Russia’s energy policy formulation – resource geographic, financial, institutional and ecological (see Chapter 2) – and marries them to the wider conceptual framework of ‘energy dilemmas’ relating to energy security, economic globalization and climate change policy that I have developed elsewhere (Bradshaw, 2010b, 2012). Russia’s post-socialist economic transformation has taken place during a phase of accelerated economic globalization. Russia, and before it the Soviet Union, was incorporated into the global economy mainly as a purveyor of natural resources. In the Soviet era, exports of natural resources were used to earn convertible currency that was used to purchase food (principally wheat) and Western technology. Thus, the central planning system marshalled the rents generated by natural resource exports to address structural weaknesses in the domestic economy. This also represented a massive transfer of rent from Siberia to the European regions of the country (Bradshaw, 2006). When global resource prices fell, the costs to...

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