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The Politics of Shale Gas in Eastern Europe
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Book description

Fracking is a novel but contested energy technology – so what makes some countries embrace it whilst others reject it? This book argues that the reason for policy divergence lies in procedures and processes, stakeholder inclusion and whether a strong narrative underpins governmental policies. Based on a large set of primary data gathered in Poland, Bulgaria and Romania, it explores shale gas policies in Central Eastern Europe (a region strongly dependent on Russian gas imports) to unveil the importance of policy regimes for creating a 'social license' for fracking. Its findings suggest that technology transfer does not happen in a vacuum but is subject to close mutual interaction with political, economic and social forces; and that national energy policy is not a matter of 'objective' policy imperatives, such as Russian import dependence, but a function of complex domestic dynamics pertaining to institutional procedures and processes, and winners and losers.


‘Existing academic scholarship and public discourse on fracking has focused almost entirely on North America or Western Europe. This book fills an essential gap not only by examining an often neglected frontline in the shale gas revolution - Eastern Europe - but by utilizing a rich original dataset and an interdisciplinary mosaic of conceptual tools. Anybody concerned about the future of natural gas ought to read this book.'

Benjamin K. Sovacool - University of Sussex

‘This timely monograph from highly respected academic Professor Goldthau provides an excellent analysis of the political and policy issues associated with the highly contentious practice of fracking to extract gas from shale. He masterfully considers the difficult question of social license to operate both generally and within the Central and Eastern European context, providing the reader with an excellent assessment of the critical issues. His consideration of such issues pertaining to shale gas extraction in Central and Eastern Europe will quickly become an important tool for researchers and policy makers alike.'

Tina Hunter - Aberdeen University School of Law

‘This important book is among the first to link the geopolitics of energy firmly back to local policy dynamics. It reveals how critical national policy is in determining whether society accepts - or rejects - fracking technology. A highly-recommended read for anyone interested in European energy security, and the prospects of shale to eventually ‘go global'.'

Meghan O'Sullivan - Harvard Kennedy School, Massachusetts

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