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Bear Resurgent: The Geopolitical Impacts of Climate Change in the Russian Far North

Authors: Milan Liu*, Pennsylvania State University
Topics: Political Geography, Russia
Keywords: climate change, geopolitics, russia
Session Type: Poster
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Climate change is critically impacting world systems in a variety of ways, through its fundamental reshaping of human, physical, and economic geographies. In few places are these changing geographies more incontrovertible than in Russia’s Far North: Siberia and the Arctic. Melting permafrost and melting sea ice are opening up new opportunities for Russia in both energy markets and the political arena. As the country capitalizes on opportunities to develop energy resources, gain control of sea routes, and engage in pipeline politics, shifting networks of power may bring the former superpower to a more prominent political and economic role in the modern world. This project engages two case studies to examine Russia’s changing geopolitical role in the world in the context of climate change, the first addressing energy (geo)politics in Siberia, and the second looking at the militarization of the Arctic. In particular, the study aims to identify some of the potential geopolitical challenges and opportunities for Russia in the next several decades, and how the country may respond to them.

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