Kalina Damianova

Thesis title:

Strategic ”castling” on Eurasia’s energy map: Russia’s natural gas strategy enhancement


Kalina’s PhD research argues that in the last two decades the complicated Eurasian energy dynamic has undergone a fundamental structural change, which has led to the ”regrouping” of its main actors’ strategies, policies, and regional approaches. In the rapidly changing regional context, where interests and conflicts are interwoven, the enhancement of the Eurasian actors’ strategies and bargain capacity is what has become relatively more important than maximising their traditional realist power.The case study looks into one of Eurasia’s fundamental energy pillars, and also key political and security actor, Russia, and its natural gas strategy from the early 2000s onward. It uses an interdisciplinary approach combining International Political Economy (IPE) with negotiations theory. Through a multi-level vertical and horizontal method, the analysis ”dissects” Russia gas strategy into three levels: domestic; regional; and international, and examines the dynamics of each level. Finally, it integrates the three levels into a comprehensive strategic analysis. Although a variety of aspects affecting Russia’s energy sector and its strategy have been analysed already, Russia’s gas strategy has not been examined comprehensively within a theoretical framework that encompasses the dynamics of its domestic, regional, international level. This research investigates the drivers of the aforementioned strategic changes on these three levels, tracks their outcome down and assesses them, asking the questions – why did these changes take place and what kind of outcomes did they lead to?

First supervisor:

Adnan Vatansever


12 – Strategic, Regional, & Security Studies