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The conflicting goals of large oil-producing states and those working towards a decarbonised global economy will be brought into focus at a lecture taking place at King’s College London.

Presenting his new book, Russia against Modernity, Professor Alexander Etkind will connect the growing literature on ‘petro-aggression’ with the large body of scholarship on the energy transition.

From Eastern Europe to the Middle East to Latin America, petrostates have waged or financed military conflicts. The new crisis of the world order has happened as programs of decarbonisation have been declared and are maturing.

‘Petro-aggression’ and decarbonisation are some of the two major stories of the 21st century, and, by employing the idea of securitisation, Prof Etkind will frame the current wars as the petrostates’ pre-emptive responses to the perceived economic deprivation, which energy transition would bring to these states.

The lecture, hosted by the King’s Russia Institute, is taking place from 18.00 – 20.00 in Bush House (S) 4.04, on 4 March. There will also be an opportunity to hear more about the institute’s postgraduate programme, MSc Russian and Eurasian Politics and Economics. Guests will be sign-posted towards information about the programme and will have the opportunity to speak to academics who are currently leading the programme, as well as student representatives (subject to availability).

For those interested in study with the Russia Institute, you can access the postgraduate open session held on 12 February at the link here:


Professor Alexander Etkind is a Professor in the Department of International Relations at CEU in Vienna, and director of the new Hub for Politics of the Anthropocene at CEU. Etkind was born in St Petersburg and defended his PhD at University of Helsinki. Before coming to CEU, he was a professor at Cambridge University (2004-2013) and European University Institute at Florence (2013-2022). Prof Etkind has authored many books, including Internal Colonization: Russia’s Imperial Experience (2011) and Warped Mourning: Stories of the Undead in the Land of the Unburied (2013), and Nature’s Evil: A Cultural History of Natural Resources (2021). His most recent book, Russia against Modernity, was released in 2023 by Polity Press.

Event details

Bush House Lecture Theatre 2 (4.04)
Bush House
Strand campus, 30 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4BG