A Splintered Heartland: Russia, Europe, and the Geopolitics of Networked Energy Infrastructure

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Corey Johnson, Assistant Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Much has been made about a revival of Mackinderian geopolitics in Eurasia, largely centred on struggles over access to energy resources and rooted in a territorial understanding of space. This paper proposes that the conceptual political cartography of Eurasia is indeed largely being rewritten, but conventional understandings of space, territory, and resources are insufficient in providing insight into a changing geopolitics. We interrogate the geographical logics of Russia's role as energy provider to Europe by focusing specifically on the provision of gas to Europe via Nord Stream, a new underwater pipeline that is scheduled to go online by late 2011. Drawing on debates in human geography on relational/topological views of space, and on the “splintering urbanism” thesis, the paper describes a rapidly evolving networked space that effectively “splinters” the territorial integrity of the region and thereby complicates notions of Eurasian geopolitics that emphasise proximity, territorial hegemony, and state-centric international relations.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2012
geopolitics, energy infrastructure, Russia, Europe, energy networks, underwater pipelines, Nord Stream

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