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Enlisting oil and gas companies for Russia’s Arctic development. Implementation in a rent-based political economy

Ingerid M. Opdahl

Post-Communist Economies, 2022, vol. 34, issue 6, 715-735

Abstract: Oil and gas extraction remains a cornerstone in Russia’s development plans for the Arctic Zone, even as there are considerable constraints on new projects. But what does it take to implement hydrocarbon-based regional development in a rent-based political economy? This paper employs a case study of interaction between state and business actors over hydrocarbon-based cargo traffic for the Northern Sea Route to show how Russia’s elites respond to constraints on Arctic development. It is argued that aims of development and of national interest protection enable the state to enlist companies when implementing high-level priorities. This happens when state actors mobilise major companies, using their privileges in the limited access order context as incentives. This route to implementation of regional developmental aims reinforces Russia’s current oil and gas-based development model as a future model for the Arctic Zone.

Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1080/14631377.2022.2028476

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