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The Politics of Shale Gas in Eastern Europe
Energy Security, Contested Technologies and the Social Licence to Frack

Part of Cambridge Studies in Comparative Public Policy

  • Date Published: March 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107183940


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About the Authors
  • 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.

    • Based on the findings of a 2-year research project funded by a European Commission's Marie Curie Fellowship within the 7th European Community Framework Programme
    • Advances the ongoing debate on energy policy in Central Eastern Europe and contributes to the literature on policies pertaining to technology transfer, using shale gas as a critical case
    • Sheds light on the socio-economic dimension of fracking, and what it takes to generate a 'social license'
    • Readers will understand what is required for fracking technology to take hold beyond the US, and to make shale 'go global'
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '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

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2018
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107183940
    • length: 212 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 156 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.43kg
    • contains: 6 b/w illus. 10 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: shale gas, energy security and comparative public policy
    2. The policy context: European energy security and Russian import dependence
    3. The analytical context: policy regimes and the social license
    4. The stalling front runner: Poland
    5. The nay-sayer: Bulgaria
    6. A no with options: Romania
    7. The comparative public policy of shale gas in Eastern Europe
    8. Conclusion: shale gas, technology transfer and energy security.

  • Author

    Andreas Goldthau, Royal Holloway, University of London
    Andreas Goldthau is Professor in International Relations and Director of the Centre of International Public Policy at Royal Holloway, University of London.

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