A member of our research seminar group “Russian and Post-socialist environment and energy”, PhD candidate Nooa Nykänen published an article “Competing institutional logics in Soviet industrial location policy” in Eurasian Geography and Economics journal.
The Soviet legacy has been widely demonstrated to have had negative impacts on the regional and economic development of Russia. This article studies the mechanisms of competing institutional logics in Soviet industrial location policies as a source of this adverse heritage. The results indicate that prolonged competition between three institutional logics complicated the adoption and practice of consistent industrial location strategies and contributed to structural problems in economic geography. An analysis of Soviet institutional logics demonstrates parallel forms of competition and coexistence with findings from other institutional environments, paving the way for a broader theoretical analysis of Soviet organizations and institutions.
The article can be found on Taylor&Francis Online.
Puheenaihe.fi asked our researcher Sakari Höysniemi, Emma Hakala from Finnish Institute of International affairs and Tero T. Toivanen from VTT if the means of combating climate change increase the instability of societies and cause conflicts. In the piece “Voiko ilmastonmuutoksen torjuminen olla turvallisuusuhka?” (Can combating climate change be a security threat?), Sakari Höysniemi addressed the energy side of the issue and was arguing, that energy security is more than energy supply.
Although Finland is partly an island in terms of security of supply, it could be a promoter of a more sustainable and safer society and take sustainable practices, ways of thinking and technologies elsewhere. If we were able to create a model where the foundation of our well-being and security is not in securing the supply of fossil energy, this model would surely be in demand outside our borders.
Read full version of Sakari Höysniemi’s and other researchers’ texts at puheenaihe.fi.
The latest issue of the Aleksanteri Insight is written by Dr. Dmitry Yagodin, who is also working as an editor of the issue series of expert opinions, published by the Aleksanteri Institute quarterly. The publication is titled “The rebirth of news media as a public institution in Russia” and focuses on the role the news media play in Russia these days – whether it is “the institution of public accountability or a publicity tool”.
International conflicts trigger propaganda, but they also generate demand for change. Journalism history hints at the ways in which the rebirth of the Russian media may begin, writes Dmitry Yagodin.
Read the issue online on the Aleksanteri Institute’s website.
“The Geopolitics of Renewables in Kazakhstan and Russia” article written by Professor Natalie Koch and Professor Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen has been published in “Geopolitics” journal in March.
This article examines recent renewable energy initiatives in two hydrocarbon rich states of Eurasia: Kazakhstan and Russia. The global nature of challenges surrounding energy and natural resource use demand that sustainability and “energy transition” policies be understood as geopolitical issues, which are increasingly (re)defining political relations among and within states. Existing research and media coverage of international energy politics in Eurasia is overwhelmingly dominated by a focus on oil and gas extraction, especially in Kazakhstan and Russia, due to their central place in traditional hydrocarbon fuels markets. As elsewhere in the world, however, political and economic leaders in both countries have started to adopt the language of promoting environmental sustainability, the “green economy,” and renewable energy infrastructures. Taking a critical geopolitics lens to recent developments, this article considers who is involved in advancing renewable energy in contexts that have traditionally been dependent on traditional energy sources, and what this may portend for the shifting energy landscape of Eurasia.
The article can be accessed at Taylor&Francis Online website.
Sohvi Kangasluoma wrote an article for The Ulkopolitist online magazine with a title “Onko Suomesta feministisen arktisen ulkopolitiikan jäänsärkijäksi?” (Can Finland work as an icebreaker for a feminist Arctic policy?)
Sohvi Kangasluoma is a doctoral researcher at the Aleksanteri Institute of the University of Helsinki. In her doctoral dissertation she examines the Arctic oil and gas industry and its implications for human security through feminist theory. Her dissertation work is a part of AUCAM – “Opportunities for and challenges to urban development and social cohesion in Russia’s Arctic under climate change impacts” project.
In the article, Sohvi ponders whether Finland could pursue feminist Arctic policy, where safeguarding the rights of minorities and respect for environment are a precondition.The article can be read at The Ulkopolitist website.
A new report “China in the Arctic; and the Opportunities and Challenges for Chinese-Finnish Arctic Co-operation” by the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland has been published today. Our postdoctoral researcher Sanna Kopra has contributed to the study, which is a part of the publication series of the Government’s analysis, assessment and research.
The Arctic region is rapidly transforming from a peripheral region to a global theatre with an increasing number of non-Arctic stakeholders. One illustration of this transformation process is the growing presence of China in the Arctic. This report first discusses China’s changing role in global affairs (Chapter 1). This provides background for exploring China’s interests, role and presence in the Arctic. The study of China’s presence in the region is carried out through the lens of the Chinese government’s four priority areas towards the region as expressed in the country’s first official Arctic statement – the White Paper – from January 2018 (Chapter 2). Further, Chinese interests and actions in the Arctic are studied from the viewpoint of one particular Arctic State, Finland. The authors provide an overview of a broad spectrum of Chinese-Finnish interactions in different contexts, including investments in Northern Finland and co-operation within the areas of Finnish Arctic expertise and research. In addition, concerns and risks related to interaction with Chinese actors are discussed (Chapter 3). Over the past decade, China has undertaken an effort to demonstrate its growing knowledge of, and commitment to, the Arctic region. Some actors and experts are concerned about China’s aims and actions in the region, while others express hope for Chinese institutions, investors and companies to contribute to regional development and knowledge-building. The report presents a balanced and multifaceted, although necessarily not fully comprehensive, picture of China’s rise as an actor in the Arctic.
The report is available online.
Northern Dimension Institute Policy Brief 2 “The curbing of black carbon emissions offers many benefits for the Arctic” was published in January 2019. The policy brief is a result of the “Northern Dimension Future Forum on Environment: Black carbon and Climate Change in the European Arctic” that was organised on 19th of November in Brussels. Professor Tynkkynen was taking part in the Forum, where he gave a presentation “How to reduce black carbon emissions in Russia’s oil and gas industry?”.
Black carbon emissions are a global problem with special significance for arctic regions
Temperatures in the Arctic are rising clearly faster than the global average temperatures. The main reason are increasing amount of greenhouse gases, but black carbon, emitted from incomplete burning, contributes to the warming. It may cause some 20-25% of the warming in the Arctic, both through warming of the atmosphere and by accelerating melting due to reduced reflection of sunrays reaching ice and snow. Important sources of black carbon include transport, residential burning of coal and biomass, oil and gas flaring, and open burning of biomass from wildfires or the open burning of agricultural waste.
The health effects of black carbon emissions are significant. Black carbon is a component of the fine particles that have serious adverse health effects globally. The combined effects on the climate and health have motivated the Arctic Council and the Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership to pay special attention to ways of reducing emissions of black carbon. The actions to reduce emissions need to be replicated globally for the positive effects to take effect. Globally residential combustion and transport emissions dominate. In the Arctic region emissions from oil and gas production are also important.
The policy brief is now available online
Sakari Höysniemi has co-written with Sigrid Kaasik-Krogerus and Dragana Cvetanović the article “Muutokset, katkokset ja jatkuvuudet itäisessä Euroopassa” (Changes, breaks and continuity in Eastern Europe) for the latest issue of Idäntutkimus.
In the article they give an overview of the 18th Aleksanteri Conference, organised at the University of Helsinki on 24-26 of October. The writers give account of the keynote speakers’ presentation and of the most interesting panels and events of the conference. Aleksanteri conferences always draw a large number of participants who present high quality research and have fruitful conversations during the event. Soon the call for the Aleksanteri Conference 2019 will be open, stay tuned.
The latest Idäntutkimus issue can be found online here.
Gaudeamus published a new book “Kaikenlaista rohkeutta” (Many kinds of bravery) this year, and Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen contributed to the book with a chapter “Rohkeuden puute ajaa öljyvaltio Venäjän rakentamaan hiilivetykulttuuria” (Lack of courage drives Russian petrostate to build a hydrocarbon culture). The volume is edited by Ilari Hetemäki, Hannu Koskinen, Tuija Pulkkinen, and Esa Väliverronen and is a part of Tieteen Päivät 2019.
Tieteen Päivät 2019 book “Kaikenlaista rohkeutta” examines the frames of courage and daring in society, science, and individuals. In the study, a daring person jumping into the unknown can break past truths or, for example, safely place a spacecraft at its destination after ten years of traveling. On the other hand, a seemingly small act may require an enormous amount of courage: touching a close one or getting your own voice heard in the work community.
More information on the book can be found at the publisher’s website.