Margarita M. Balmaceda is a political scientist working at the intersection of international relations, the political economy of authoritarianism and democracy, and technology, with a special expertise in energy politics (oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear, renewables), and commodities -- especially steel and the metallurgical sector-- in Ukraine, the former USSR, and the EU. She has a PhD in Politics from Princeton University and is Professor of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University. Concurrently, she heads the Study Group on “Energy materiality: Infrastructure, Spatiality and Power” at the Hanse Wissenschaftskolleg (Germany). She is currently on sabbatical as Petro Jacyk Distinguished Fellow in Ukrainian Studies at the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, where she is conducting a project on “Mariupol between Oligarchs, Russian Aggression, and Global Metallurgical Markets.”, Her books include: The Politics of Energy Dependency: Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania Between Domestic Oligarchs and Russian Pressure (Toronto: U. of Toronto Press, 2013), Living the High Life in Minsk: Russian Energy Rents, Domestic Populism and Belarus’ Impending Crisis (Budapest: CEU Press, 2014), and Energy Dependency, Politics and Corruption in the Former Soviet Union (London and New York: Routledge, 2008). Capitalizing on her Ukrainian, Russian, Hungarian and German skills, she has conducted extensive research in Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Lithuania, Moldova, Hungary, Germany and Finland. Her new book, Russian Energy Chains: the Remaking of Technopolitics from Siberia to Ukraine to the European Union (forthcoming May 2021 with Columbia University Press) analyzes how differences in the material characteristics of different types of energy can affect how different types of energy may be “used” as sources of foreign and domestic power.
Professor of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University