Quiet Lives of Energy Geopolitics in the Balkans


Summer Institute for the Study of East Central and Southeastern Europe


Sociology and Anthropology


What can a 2,175-mile natural gas pipeline tell us about the role of culture in energy geopolitics as an everyday occupation? As part of a larger ethnographic research and writing project, “Quiet Lives of Energy Geopolitics in the Balkans” investigates this question by homing in on the roles, worldviews, and interpersonal relationships of key actors of the Southern Gas Corridor. This large-scale cross-border natural gas pipeline system brings Caspian Basin natural gas resources from Azerbaijan to the world’s largest gas market in Europe, including a recent extension to Bulgaria via Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria. Drawing from interviews conducted with government and company officials and textual analysis of policy advice, “Quiet Lives of Energy Geopolitics in the Balkans” sheds light on the often-neglected roles of the human factor and cultural dynamics in negotiating the terms and conditions of emergent energy and infrastructure geopolitics.