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Open access

Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen

The final chapter analyses how Russia could escape the problematic hydrocarbon dependence it suffers from today. It starts by looking at the first, but very inadequate, decarbonization efforts taken within the hydrocarbon-dependent regime. The ongoing renewable energy deployment projects are reviewed, as is the potential of legal documents to enable investments into the renewables sector. The book ends with a vision for a decarbonized and green, and therefore resilient and sustainable Russia that is able to transform from a hydrocarbon to an ecological culture. This vision in based on the theoretical approach outlined in the book and the findings presented throughout the four empirical chapters – thus stemming from the potential avenues when energy is viewed via its spatialities, materialities and power in the context of climate change.

Open access

Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen

This chapter looks at how political power is practised via energy in the domestic context and is based on empirical research on Gazifikatsiya Rossii, which is the national gas programme of Russia’s parastatal energy company Gazprom. The chapter describes how major Russian fossil energy companies are used as an instrument for promoting a plethora of state-led objectives, encompassing societal phenomena from economy to politics and from culture to identity. The chapter focuses on how hydrocarbon energies, specifically gas because it is so central within Russia, are intertwined with societal and political power – and how the materialities and spatialities of hydrocarbons are utilized in constructing and maintaining power in the Russian domestic context.

Open access

Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen

This chapter examines Russian energy power on the international scene by focusing on Russian–Finnish energy relations. The geopolitical and geoeconomic power sought by Russia relies on an alluring and coercive means similar to that used domestically by the hydrocarbon-inspired governmentality of Putin’s Russia. Russian–Finnish energy diplomacy is an interesting case of energy power, as it depends very much on the soft approach. Although it is well-veiled, the coercive is present in this political atmosphere, which is presented as being neutral. Both strategies are an elementary part of the practices and discourses of the Russian hydrocarbon culture, yet one might think that the ‘nuclear diplomacy’ that has recently dominated the Russian–Finnish energy scene is a departure from hydrocarbons. This chapter demonstrates why that is not the case.

Open access

with Nina Tynkkynen

This chapter focuses on climate change discourse and denial of anthropogenic climate change in Russia; how the Russian hydrocarbon culture positions itself regarding the climate question. The argument is that the Putin regime’s increasing dependence on hydrocarbons makes serious climate mitigation policy an impossibility. The inability to address the negative consequences of the chosen fossil fuel-based economic policy, and the social contract to which this economy is tied, pushes the regime to build a narrative that turns a problem into a social taboo. An examination of the discursive change towards climate denial shows that the Putin regime, which emphasizes Russia’s role as a conservative and authoritarian Energy Superpower and hydrocarbon culture, is the antithesis of a resilient and sustainable Russia.

Open access

Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen

This chapter outlines the objectives of the book and argues that a spatially knowledgeable approach is important to understanding the problems arising from the entanglement of hydrocarbon energy and political power in Russia. Only through a detailed knowledge of the current energy-political system and its hydrocarbon-culture mentality can we come up with enlightened foresight about Russia. At this time, the hydrocarbon-dependent regime of President Putin is both unable and unwilling to react to the systemic transformation brought about by global climate change. The Russian deadlock has encouraged the author to develop a vision for a resilient and sustainable Russia. The chapter also contextualizes Russian energy: it is devoted to Russia’s energy resources, their extraction, domestic use and export, and also defines the central actors that are determining the main directions of Russia’s energy policies, including paving the way towards the much-needed climate neutrality.

Open access

Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen

This chapter focuses on the environmental issues and energy futures of the Russian Arctic, and examines how the Russian hydrocarbon culture manifests itself in the region. It questions the role that this central geopolitical direction of Putin’s Russia plays in safeguarding the future of the regime. Viewed via the spatialities of energy, the chapter shows how the Russian hydrocarbon culture contributes to environmental problems ranging from the local to the global, and functions as a ‘geological force’ that is transforming the Arctic environment to serve the needs of this very culture. In doing so, the hydrocarbon culture relies on three Arctic paradoxes: local, national and global. As the culture is unable to address these paradoxes, they are implicitly defined as societal taboos. The inability to address these problems is a central obstacle on the path towards a resilient and sustainable Russia.

Open access

Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen

Open access

Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen

Open access

Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen

This chapter defines the theoretical and methodological basis for the book. Russia’s energy is scrutinized via a spatial prism where the flows of energy and the materialities with which these flows transect and intertwine are part of political power practices. The chapter looks at Russia’s energy as a relational space and describes how hydrocarbons, coal and different renewable energy sources flow across geographical space – not in absolute terms of tons and cubic metres, but based on their ‘ability’ to form economic, political and societal ties and power-vested assemblages. Thus, this chapter brings together energy spatialities, materialities and power. The concepts of hydrocarbon culture and energy superpower, which are central to understanding how fossil energy and political power are intertwined in Russia, are also introduced.

Open access

Fabrice Jaumont and Teboho Moja

This chapter analyses the decades-long relationship between leading U.S. foundations and universities in Africa, with a focus on the Partnership for Higher Education in Africa. The study highlights the complex dynamics of philanthropic collaborations in this specific sector. U.S. foundations have positioned themselves strategically in the ecology of international developers and have succeeded in advocating the importance of higher education for Africa’s economic development. However, this study shows that donor-to-donor collaborations are not easily implemented and that donor-to-recipient collaborations are not set on equal footing, particularly in the context of higher education in Africa, and that this inequity has a bearing on projects’ design, implementation, outcomes and sustainability.