The PPC is proud to support this lecture hosted by the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council (ICFRC).
For the last three years, the energy word has been fixated on the fits and starts of the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline, as changes in EU regulations and regulatory competencies, as well as pressure from key stakeholders, has kept the project under a big question mark. A July 2021 agreement between the US and Germany seemed to give green light to the project. In my presentation, I will discuss the following issues:
1) What makes Nord Stream so complex from a regulatory and governance perspective, and how is this related to the specific materiality characteristics of natural gas as related to other fossil fuels?
2) What is the Russian context of the project, and how do Russian governance issues affect it?
3) Up to which point do the July 2021 agreements really mean the pipeline will be put in use?
4) What perspectives and challenges does the new “status quo” open for Ukraine?
Margarita M. Balmaceda is a political scientist working at the intersection of international relations, the political economy of authoritarianism and democracy, and technology, with a special expertise in energy politics (oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear, renewables), and commodities -- especially steel and the metallurgical sector-- in Ukraine, the former USSR, and the EU. She has a PhD in Politics from Princeton University and is Professor of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University. Concurrently, she heads the Study Group on “Energy materiality: Infrastructure, Spatiality and Power” at the Hanse Wissenschaftskolleg (Germany) and is an Associate at the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard. Capitalizing on her Ukrainian, Russian, Hungarian and German skills, in addition to her native Spanish, she has conducted extensive field research in Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Lithuania, Moldova, Hungary, Germany and Finland. Her new book, Russian Energy Chains: the Remaking of Technopolitics from Siberia to Ukraine to the European Union (Columbia University Press, 2021) analyzes how differences in the material characteristics of different types of energy can affect how different types of energy may be “used” as sources of foreign and domestic power. She is currently developing a project on metallurgy, conflict and political development and struggling through courses at the Word Steel Association’s Steel University.
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