Indra Overland

Indra Overland
Norwegian Institute of International Affairs | NUPI · Center for Energy Research

22.68
 · 
PhD Cantab.

About

151
Publications
117,429
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Introduction
Indra Overland is Research Professor and Head of the Energy Program at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs. He works on the political economy of energy, especially in the former Soviet Union and Asia. He did his PhD at the University of Cambridge and has been awarded the Toby Jackman Prize for best PhD dissertation; the Marcel Cadieux Prize for an article on Russia’s Arctic energy policy; the Stuland Prize; and co-authored the most cited article in the Journal of Eurasian Studies.
Research Experience
December 1999 - present
Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
Position
  • Research Professor
Description
  • Head of Energy Programme

Publications

Publications (151)
Article
Full-text available
This chapter addresses two questions. Firstly, judging from the growing regulatory pressure on Gazprom, has the EU really become liberal mercantilist, or is it still just liberal? Secondly, how can Gazprom respond to the pressure? The chapter finds that the EU has become far more systematic and salient in its measures to handle Gazprom, but that it...
Article
Full-text available
This paper provides a comprehensive overview of how climate policy and unconventional oil and gas developments may influence global geopolitics. Advances in unconventional oil and gas production and the adoption of a more effective international climate policy impact on supply–demand balances in the petroleum sector, causing shifts in financial fl...
Article
Full-text available
During an intense period of only 14 months, from June 2010 to August 2011, six major cooperation agreements between oil companies were announced in Russia. Almost all of these partnerships involved offshore projects, with an international oil company as one of the partners and Rosneft as the other. The agreements were concentrated along Russia's Ar...
Article
Full-text available
This paper argues that the most obvious measure to combat greenhouse gas emissions is to remove the vast subsidies that promote higher energy consumption in more than half of the countries in the world, and that this measure should take precedence over many others. The article discusses also why removing energy subsidies is so difficult, and which...
Chapter
Full-text available
What are some of the possible futures for Barents Sea oil and gas? This chapter draws upon the key trends and issues covered by the book’s thematic chapters and presents three scenarios on the prospects for Norwegian–Russian cooperation in the Barents Sea. Ultimately human interaction will play a large part in how the Barents Sea is developed, and...
Article
While most hydrogen research focuses on the technical and cost hurdles to a full-scale hydrogen economy, little consideration has been given to the geopolitical drivers and consequences of hydrogen developments. The technologies and infrastructures underpinning a hydrogen economy can take markedly different forms, and the choice over which pathway...
Article
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In this perspectives piece, an interdisciplinary team of social science researchers considers the implications of Covid-19 for the politics of sustainable energy transitions. The emergency measures adopted by states, firms, and individuals in response to this global health crisis have driven a series of political, economic and social changes with p...
Technical Report
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Brunei Darussalam has yet to make major progress in renewable energy and become an attractive destination for investors. Only 0.05% of Brunei’s electricity came from renewable energy sources, while 99.95% was based on fossil fuels. In 2014, the country set a renewable energy target of 10% in the power generation mix by 2035. To reach the target, it...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Indonesia, the largest country in Southeast Asia, has considerable renewable energy potential. However, this potential remains largely underexploited. Fossil fuel subsidies are a major obstacle to the deployment of renewable energy on a large scale. Investment in renewable energy is limited compared to some regional peers. For instance, Vietnam att...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Cambodia has not attracted significant investment in renewable energy until mid-2020 and, unlike other ASEAN countries, has not set exact renewable energy targets. Despite this, the country is viewed as a model to learn from for other ASEAN countries implementing solar power auctions. In order to keep up this momentum and attract more investment, C...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Malaysia set a target of 20% renewables in the energy mix by 2025, an 18% increase from the 2% it had in 2018. One of the planned measures is the development of large-scale solar power. To reach the target, it will be necessary to attract a total of USD 8 billion of renewable energy investment during this period. Considering the fact that Malaysia...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Myanmar is endowed with abundant renewable energy resources, and its solar potential is the greatest in the Greater Mekong Subregion – yet, this potential remains largely untapped. The country’s 50% electrification rate remains the lowest in ASEAN, and the government plans to electrify the entire country by 2030. The share of renewable energy in th...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Lao PDR adopted the Renewable Energy Development Strategy in 2011 and set a target of 30% small-scale renewables in the energy mix by 2025. The country relies heavily on large hydropower in electricity production and is an attractive investment destination for hydropower. At the same time, Lao PDR has also significant small-scale hydro and solar po...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The Philippines set the target of increasing the share of renewable energy in its energy mix from 16.9% in 2019 to 26.9% by 2030. This ambitious target requires significant additional investment in renewable energy. It has been estimated that the Philippines could attract USD 20 billion in renewable energy investment through auctions between 2020 a...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Singapore has limited renewable energy potential due to its small surface area and the limited space available. Solar power has the greatest potential. Given the country’s limited spare land, rooftops and vertical spaces on high-rise buildings are of particular importance. Singapore set a target of producing solar energy to cover 350,000 households...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Thailand is among ASEAN’s renewable energy leaders. It attracted more than USD 10.7 billion of investment in renewable energy from 2006 to 2018. The country’s total installed capacity of renewable energy represented over 60% of the total capacity of ASEAN in 2019. Renewables accounted for 15% of its energy mix in 2018, and a target of 30% in 2036 w...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Vietnam is one of the most attractive destinations for renewable energy investment in ASEAN. In 2018, the country attracted USD 5.2 billion. In 2019, the share of renewable energy in the energy mix was 9%, thus already exceeding the 7% target set for 2020. If Vietnam is to continue its success and compete globally for investment in renewable energy...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter reviews the development of the legal framework for renewable energy in Russia and discusses the current state of renewable energy in the country. The Russian support scheme for renewable energy is elaborated in detail for both the wholesale and retail energy markets, and the outcomes of the policy are assessed based on the current stat...
Article
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The window of opportunity for mitigating climate change is narrow. Limiting global warming to 1.5 °C will require rapid and deep alteration of attitudes, norms, incentives, and politics. Some of the key climate-change and energy transition puzzles are therefore in the realm of the social sciences. However, these are precisely the fields that receiv...
Article
Full-text available
ASEAN member states face a choice between cooperating more closely on mitigating climate change now or risking greater regional tensions in the future. Published in "ASEAN Focus", No 1, 2020, pp. 14-15
Article
This policy perspective sums up the main input of four members of the Research Panel for IRENA's Global Commission on the Geopolitics of the Energy Transformation. The geographic and technical characteristics of renewable energy systems are fundamentally different from those of coal, oil, and natural gas. This has implications for interstate energy...
Article
Full-text available
This article reviews the literature on the geopolitics of renewable energy. It finds that while the roots of this literature can be traced back to the 1970s and 1980s, most of it has been published from 2010 onwards. The following aggregate conclusions are extracted from the literature: renewable energy has many advantages over fossil fuels for int...
Chapter
Full-text available
Russia has long been a potential dream partner for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Russia could greatly enhance the cartel’s market power and has several allies among the OPEC member states. During the 2010s, it seemed that the potential of the OPEC–Russia relationship was finally being realized as they grew closer. Ho...
Article
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Political leaders describe the climate crisis as the greatest challenge of our time, but it plays only a marginal role in the foreign policy of most states and in the scholarly literature on international relations. Only 0.77 percent of the articles in five top international relations (IR) journals between 2015 and 2019 were about climate change. T...
Chapter
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The 2018 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on limiting global warming to 1.5 °C highlights the importance of access to capital for reaching this target. As directly or indirectly government-owned and -controlled investment vehicles with a an intrinsically long-term perspective, sovereign wealth funds have an self-interest in p...
Article
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This article presents the GeGaLo index of geopolitical gains and losses that 156 countries may experience after a full-scale transition to renewable energy. The following indicators are considered for inclusion in the index: fossil fuel production, fossil fuel reserves, renewable energy resources, governance, and conflict. Some of these represent p...
Article
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What is a BRI project? Most Chinese projects in Central Asia are bilateral but many of them are announced as part of BRI initiatives. This op-ed summarizes data on 261 Chines projects in Central Asia gathered by the Central Asia Data-Gathering and Analysis Team (CADGAT), operated by the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) and the OS...
Data
This file brings together all the underlying data for CADGAT data articles 16 - 19, covering renewable energy policies, wind, solar and hydropower potential in Central Asian countries. These data are published under a CC-BY open access license. Anyone is welcome to use them, as long as they include a full reference to the source.
Data
This file brings together all the underlying data for CADGAT data articles 20–27, covering 261 Chinese projects in Central Asia. These data are published under a CC-BY open access license.
Technical Report
Full-text available
This data article shows that most of the rail and road projects in which the Chinese are involved in Central Asia are implemented within the territories of individual countries and thus are still poorly linked with each other. However, these internal transport routes are expected to eventually form the basis of a new cross-regional network within t...
Technical Report
Full-text available
China and its Central Asian counterparts pursue finance and IT projects for both commercial and strategic reasons. As this data article shows, transparency is limited and exact information on the size of their investments is only partly available. In the financial sector, China cooperates most closely with Kazakhstan among the Central Asian countri...
Technical Report
Full-text available
One of the strategic objectives of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in Central Asia is to provide China with alternative import/export and energy supply routes. This data article shows that the presentation and coverage of BRI projects varies considerably from country to country. The largest number of BRI projects in Central Asia are implemented...
Technical Report
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This data article looks at Chinese investment in agriculture and food production in Central Asia. It shows that the agricultural sector projects have low priority within the Belt and Road Initiative. Kazakhstan is the biggest recipient of Chinese investment in agriculture and food projects in Central Asia.
Technical Report
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This data article summarises the analysis of 261 Chinese projects in Central Asia. The findings indicate that trade promotion and industrial development are the sectors where there is most BRI-related activity in Central Asia. The total number of projects in these areas approximates the number of projects in all other areas combined. These sectors...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Mineral resources is the sector that receives most Chinese investment in Central Asia. China and its Central Asian partners pursue both strategic and commercial goals by promoting projects in the minerals sector. Kazakhstan hosts the largest number of projects and receives the largest amount of Chinese investment. The second largest recipient of fi...
Technical Report
Full-text available
China’s investment in the industrial sectors of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan has been on the rise since the 1990s. However, this data article shows the recent expansion of Chinese investment also in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Thus, China has expanded its engagement in the development of local industries in larger countries as well. The projects in Kaz...
Technical Report
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Along with financing hard infrastructure projects, Beijing also promotes soft power projects in the form of people-to-people initiatives. However, such projects are low priority within the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in Central Asia. The Confucius Institutes, which appear to be an important vehicle for Chinese soft power in the region, are not d...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This data article surveys the wind energy potential of the five Central Asian countries; Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The dataset presents the theoretical wind power supply capacity in the region as well as existing wind power installations.
Technical Report
Full-text available
This data article surveys the hydropower potential of the five Central Asian countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. The dataset presents the theoretical hydropower supply capacity of all the river basins of Central Asia. It was prepared using data from national and international sources, and it provides informa...
Article
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This article seeks to nip in the bud four emerging myths about the geopolitics of the rise of renewable energy and the concomitant increase in electricity usage. The article presents alternative perspectives, arguing that (1) the risk of geopolitical competition over critical materials for renewable energy is limited; (2) the resource curse as we k...
Technical Report
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This data article surveys the government policies in support of renewable energy in the five Central Asian republics: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. It begins by providing general information and key energy statistics for these countries. It then presents comparative data on their regulatory policies, fiscal incen...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This data compilation surveys the solar energy potential of the five Central Asian countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. It also provides data on installed and planned solar power capacity in these countries.
Article
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This paper develops an automated algorithm to process input data for segmented string relative rankings (SSRRs). The purpose of the SSRR methodology is to create rankings of countries, companies, or any other units based on surveys of expert opinion. This is done without the use of grading systems, which can distort the results due to varying degre...
Chapter
Full-text available
Climate policy will transform the EU energy demand mix. This has implications for the main suppliers of fossil fuels to the EU, foremost among which are Algeria, Colombia, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Norway, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the USA. Norway has a better starting point for adapting to changing EU energy demand than the other energy suppliers and th...
Chapter
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Has the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), launched by China in 2013, changed the perception of China among local actors in Central Asia? There are numerous internal problems and contradictions among the Central Asian countries and the region remains one of the least integrated in the world. This poses serious challenges to BRI but also offers opportu...
Article
Full-text available
This data article surveys the government policies in support of renewable energy in the five Central Asian republics: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. It begins by providing general information and key energy statistics for these countries. It then presents comparative data on their regulatory policies, fiscal ince...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Fundamental changes are taking place in the global energy system which will affect almost all countries and will have wide-ranging geopolitical consequences. Renewables have moved to the centre of the global energy landscape. Technological advances and falling costs have made renewables grow faster than any other energy source. Many renewable techn...
Article
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Are Russian oil companies capable of adapting to the new realities of world energy markets?
Data
CADGAT unified database on Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects in Central Asia This file brings together all the underlying data for CADGAT data articles 20 - 27, covering 261 Chinese projects in Central Asia. These data are published under a CC-BY open access license. Anyone is welcome to use them, as long as they include a full reference to...
Article
Full-text available
Uzbekistan's transformation under President Mirziyoyev will fast-track the new Silk Road
Technical Report
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Myanmar may for a long time remain in a transitional state with an uncertain future. After a series of political and economic liberalization reforms from 2011 onwards, Myanmar’s political trajectory remains open-ended, although the most plausible scenario remains a continued slow democratization process. The democratic opening has been driven large...
Article
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The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), created in 2009, is the only intergovernmental organization dedicated to renewable energy. Drawing on several new datasets, this article explores IRENA in the context of three other major international energy organizations: the International Atomic Energy Agency, the International Energy Agency and...
Chapter
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This concluding chapter draws together the threads from the 18 case studies of oil- and gas-producing countries, relating them to the theoretical concept of ‘public brainpower’ and the arguments presented in the introductory chapter. It elaborates on the concept of public brainpower, adding important caveats related to some possible detrimental eff...
Chapter
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This introductory chapter establishes the analytical framework for the edited volume. The literature on the resource curse and institutions is briefly discussed, along with the work on civil society and the public sphere by Almond and Verba, Dahl, Habermas and Putnam. Drawing on these classics, the theoretical concept of ‘public brainpower’ is form...
Chapter
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In Kazakhstan, civil society is held back and has had a limited role in the management of the petroleum sector. As this chapter notes, civil society has had little experience of promoting its own interests vis-à-vis the state, and public discussion of natural resource issues has been mainly government-driven. The fact that Kazakhstan made a notable...
Chapter
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This chapter assesses the importance of civil society involvement and public debate for Norwegian petroleum governance. It finds that during the early years of the country’s oil and gas development, the most important choices were made by a small number of decision-makers in government with little input from the rest of society. The attitude of gov...
Chapter
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This chapter sums up the 18 case-study chapters that make up the bulk of the volume and prepares the ground for the concluding chapter. It begins by reviewing and highlighting the case-study findings, followed by notes and reflections on some general challenges encountered in the preparation of the book and the research conducted for the case studi...
Chapter
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In Russia, civil society engagement with the petroleum sector is surprisingly rich and varied for a country that is ranked low on most democracy-related indicators. This chapter finds that there is a lively and varied public debate, with business associations, research institutes, independent experts, indigenous organizations and the few surviving...
Chapter
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This chapter analyses bilateral Chinese–Russian energy relations , pre-and post Crimea. The signing of the Power of Siberia megapro-ject in May 2014, only two months after Russia's annexation of Crimea, created the impression that China bankrolled Russia out of the crisis. To assess the veracity of this impression, the authors draw a longer timelin...
Book
DO YOU NEED AN ORIGINAL COPY OF THE HARDBACK VERSION OF THIS BOOK? DROP ME A LINE WITH YOUR POSTAL ADDRESS, EXPLAINING WHY YOU NEED A COPY AND I WILL SEND YOU ONE FOR FREE. OFFER LASTS AS LONG AS I HAVE SPARE COPIES. This book examines how civil society, public debate and freedom of speech affect natural resource governance. Drawing on the theorie...
Article
Full-text available
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), created in 2009, is the only intergovernmental organization dedicated to renewable energy. Drawing on several new datasets, this article explores IRENA in the context of three other major international energy organizations: the International Atomic Energy Agency, the International Energy Agency and...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This study examines the implications of climate change for international affairs in Southeast Asia and for ASEAN as a multilateral organization. Climate change and efforts to mitigate climate change give rise to major risks as well as opportunities in international affairs. It is therefore in the interest of all countries to be aware of the risks a...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This study examines the implications of climate change for international affairs in Southeast Asia and for ASEAN as a multilateral organization. Climate change and efforts to mitigate climate change give rise to major risks as well as opportunities in international affairs. It is therefore in the interest of all countries to be aware of the risks a...
Technical Report
Full-text available
For a century, the geopolitics of energy has been synonymous with the geopolitics of oil and gas. However, geopolitics and the global energy economy are both changing. The international order predominant since the end of World War II faces mounting challenges. At the same time, renewable energy is growing rapidly. Nevertheless, the geopolitics of r...
Technical Report
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Myanmar’s needs: Myanmar is severely affected by energy poverty, and needs to invest a greater share of GDP in the energy sector than any other country in Asia. It is estimated to require a total of USD 650 billion by 2030 to satisfy its growing demand for energy – USD 170 billion from foreign investors and the remainder from domestic sources. Inve...
Article
Full-text available
This ranking evaluates the public commitments, formalised procedures and institutional arrangements of oil, gas and mining companies for handling indigenous rights in the Arctic. The purpose of the ranking is to support norm formation and to contribute to improving the performance of companies on indigenous rights by highlighting which companies ha...
Article
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Energy resources are transported long distances and create powerful interlinkages between countries. Energy thus contributes to the globalization of the world, but has received little attention in the globalization literature. This article hypothesizes that energy globalization is growing and accelerating. The hypothesis is tested by developing an...
Article
Full-text available
The 2016 German Chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) comes at a time of increasing awareness about the interdependence between energy security and hard, economic, and human security. Energy risks are endemic in the OSCE area. Because these risks have an impact on regional security, there are good reasons f...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The report starts by presenting the numerous arguments for reducing energy subsidies, both at a general level and for Myanmar in particular. After identifying electricity pricing as the main area for potential energy subsidy reform in Myanmar, and the reasons for such reform. It then examines the experiences of other countries, drawing on a newly...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The development of the media in the Central Asian republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan since independence varies significantly. CADGAT reports 13, 14 and 15 examine developments in the media within three spheres: print media, TV and radio. The data show significant across-time variation within and among the c...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The development of mass media in the Central Asian republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan since independence differs considerably. All five countries have non-state media; and international organizations conduct workshops, trainings and various events. The media have high influence on local society. This data r...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The development of mass media in the Central Asian republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan since independence differs considerably. All five countries have non-state media; and international organizations conduct workshops, trainings and various events. The media have high influence on local society. This data r...
Article
Full-text available
The report starts by presenting the numerous arguments for reducing energy subsidies, both at a general level and for Myanmar in particular. After identifying electricity pricing as the main area for potential energy subsidy reform in Myanmar, and the reasons for such reform. It then examines the experiences of other countries, drawing on a newly...
Article
Full-text available
In reaction to Russia’s involvement in the conflict in Ukraine, the EU and the USA launched two-pronged sanctions against Russia. The equipment export ban will have limited effect in a 10-year perspective because it targets shale, deep water, and the Arctic, and few such projects are planned to come on stream before 2025. But the effect of financia...
Chapter
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This chapter takes as its starting point that the political relationship between Norway and Russia is one of the main factors that will influence the future development of Barents Sea oil and gas. If the relationship is cooperative, synergies can be achieved that will facilitate oil and gas projects that would otherwise not be commercially viable....
Chapter
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In May 2012, the Norwegian and Russian national oil companies (NOCs) Statoil and Rosneft signed a comprehensive cooperation agreement that included exploration for oil and gas in the Sea of Okhotsk, off Russia’s Pacific coast. The same month, it was reported that Statoil would withdraw from its joint project with Gazprom and Total to develop the Sh...
Technical Report
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Recent academic literature on Central Asia has shown an increasing interest in holidays and the celebrations that mark such days as a way of understanding nation- and state-building policies in the region. This CADGAT dataset provides a good starting point for a comparative approach. It presents an overview of national holidays in the five Central...
Technical Report
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Recent academic literature on Central Asia has shown an increasing interest in holidays and the celebrations that mark such days as a way of understanding nation- and state-building policies in the region. This CADGAT dataset provides a good starting point for a comparative approach. It presents an overview of national holidays in the five Central...
Chapter
Full-text available
What are some of the possible futures for Barents Sea oil and gas? This chapter draws upon the key trends and issues covered by the book’s thematic chapters and presents three scenarios on the prospects for Norwegian–Russian cooperation in the Barents Sea. Ultimately human interaction will play a large part in how the Barents Sea is developed, and...