Professor Dr. Margarita Balmaceda

Humboldt-Research Fellow
(Mai - August 2018) 

  • Born in 1965 in Buenos Aires 
  • Study of Political Science and Post-Soviet and Ukrainian Studies at the Universidad del Salvador, Johns Hopkins (B.A.), Princeton (M.A., PhD) and Harvard (Post-doc) 
  • Professor of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University 
  • Research Associate, Ukrainian Research Institute, Harvard University

Fellow project: „Chains of Value, Chains of Power: Russian Energy, Value Chains and the Remaking of Social Relations from Vladivostok to Brussels“

Chains of Value, Chains of Power brings insights from anthropology, critical geography and logistics, as well as technical knowledge on energy production and the author’s many years of field experience in studying energy issues in the former USSR, to bear on a key Political Science question: in which ways can natural resources be used as means of international power? Thus, this is a book about energy, but it is about much more than that, as it delves into issues related to Science Technology and Society (STS) studies, issues related to the interplay between technological development and political relations, as well as broader philosophical issues related to interactions between human beings and inanimate objects (“things”). The physical characteristics of (various) energy goods (“materiality”) are taken as a starting point in the sense that materiality both enables and constraints human choices. In particular, the book analyzes how this enabling and constraining takes place through and throughout energy value chainsTo shed a new light on these issues, the book follows three exemplary value chains, involving oil, natural gas and coal, the three fossil fuels central to Russian energy exports, in their journey from production sites in Siberia, through transit in Ukraine and other states, to end-use by consumers in Germany. In doing so, it analyzes the impact of materiality and technical (as well as commercial and regulatory) nodes in the course of these chains and their political and social consequences in each of the affected states and beyond.