Nadir Kinossian wrote a review of the “Russia’s Far North: The contested Energy Frontier” book, edited by Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen, Shinichiro Tabata, Daria Gritsenko and Masanori Goto.
This is a timely and important book because it addresses a number of critical issues shaping the future of the Arctic, such as energy, transportation, sustainability, security, international cooperation, and economic development. Russia has historically been a prominent player in the Arctic and currently is seeking to increase its presence there. Russia’s activities aimed to exploit the untapped natural resources, upgrade the Northern Sea Route (NSR), claim extended parts of the Arctic continental shelf, and boost its military presence in the region attract growing attention in academic and policy circles. Russia is not a sole actor seeking to use the region’s natural resources. Arctic and non-Arctic states, as well as non-state players, seek to explore economic opportunities in the region, which suggests that governing regimes for the Arctic have to respond to the increasing number of actors, interests, and risks associated with economic activities in the region.
The title of this edited volume, Russia’ s Far North: The Contested Energy Frontier , implies the somewhat uncertain status of Russia’s northern peripheries, their openness for colonization, competition, and possibly contestation. To what extent is such vision of the region accurate?The authors apply various disciplinary perspectives to analyze actors, regimes, and processes that shape the future of the Arctic. While diﬀerent chapters contribute to the debates in speciﬁc policy areas, the volume oﬀers an overview of Russia’s Far North as a dynamic area of governance and policy. The book’s comprehensive scope makes it extremely valuable for researchers and policy-makers interested in the Arctic. As a detailed reﬂection on all 15 chapters in this edited volume would be an impossibility, this review has to be selective.
The review is published in the latest issue of “Polar Geography” and can be read here.