IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The profits of power: Commerce and realpolitik in Eurasia


  • Rawi Abdelal


Although the energy trade is the single most important element of nearly all European countries' relations with Russia, Europe has been divided by both worldview and practice. Why, in the face of the common challenge of dependence on imported Russian gas, have national reactions to such vulnerability varied so dramatically across the continent? And why have a handful of French, German, and Italian corporations somehow taken responsibility for formulating the energy strategy - and thus the Russia policy - for essentially all of Europe? The resolutions of these two puzzles are, I show, interlinked; they also demand theoretical innovation. With several case studies - of Gazprom's decision-making during the 2006 and 2009 gas crises, and of the response of western and central Europe to their gas dependence - I find that: firms are driving these political outcomes; those firms are motivated by profits but employ sociological conventions along their ways; and firms generally seek the necessary inter-firm, cross-border cooperation that will deliver corporate performance. Finally, I conclude that the field will ultimately require a framework that puts firms at its center.

Suggested Citation

  • Rawi Abdelal, 2013. "The profits of power: Commerce and realpolitik in Eurasia," Review of International Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(3), pages 421-456, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:rripxx:v:20:y:2013:i:3:p:421-456
    DOI: 10.1080/09692290.2012.666214

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    File URL:
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Herrigel, Gary, 2010. "Manufacturing Possibilities: Creative Action and Industrial Recomposition in the United States, Germany, and Japan," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199557738.
    2. Vasilev, Aleksandar & Maksumov, Rashid, 2010. "Critical analysis of Chapter 23 of Keynes’s Notes on Mercantilism in The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (1936)," EconStor Research Reports 155318, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    3. Stern, Jonathan, 2005. "The Future of Russian Gas and Gazprom," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780197300312.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Dastan, Seyit Ali, 2018. "Negotiation of a cross-border natural gas pipeline: An analytical contribution to the discussions on Turkish Stream," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 749-760.
    2. Belyi, Andrei V., 2016. "Why is the oil price not about equilibrium?: An economic sociology account of petroleum markets," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 45-49.
    3. Austvik, Ole Gunnar, 2016. "The Energy Union and security-of-gas supply," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 372-382.
    4. Babic, Milan & Dixon, Adam & Fichtner, Jan, 2021. "Varieties of state capital: What does foreign state-led investment do in a globalized world?," OSF Preprints tm82g, Center for Open Science.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Lloyd Ulman, 1992. "Why Should Human Resource Managers Pay High Wages?," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 30(2), pages 177-212, June.
    2. Hany Shawky & Ronald Forbes & Alan Frankle, 1983. "Liquidity Services and Capital Market Equilibrium: The Case for Money Market Mutual Funds," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 6(2), pages 141-152, June.
    3. Ulrich van Suntum, "undated". "The Purchasing Power Argument – Could Rising Wages Foster Employment?," Working Papers 200126, Institute of Spatial and Housing Economics, Munster Universitary.
    4. P. Arestis & C. Driver, 1984. "The Policy Implications of Post Keynesianism," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(4), pages 1093-1105, December.
    5. Paul Davidson, 1985. "Liquidity and Not Increasing Returns is the Ultimate Source of Unemployment Equilibrium," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(3), pages 373-384, March.
    6. Michael Bordo & Andrew Filardo, 2005. "Deflation and monetary policy in a historical perspective: remembering the past or being condemned to repeat it?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 20(44), pages 799-844, October.
    7. Suleyman Basak & Hongjun Yan, 2010. "Equilibrium Asset Prices and Investor Behaviour in the Presence of Money Illusion," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(3), pages 914-936.
    8. James Forder, 2010. "The historical place of the 'Friedman—Phelps' expectations critique," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(3), pages 493-511.
    9. Palash Deb & Parthiban David & Jonathan O'Brien, 2017. "When is cash good or bad for firm performance?," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(2), pages 436-454, February.
    10. Shackelford, Douglas A. & Shaviro, Daniel N. & Slemrod, Joel, 2010. "Taxation and the Financial Sector," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 63(4), pages 781-806, December.
    11. Shyam Gouri Suresh & Mark Setterfield, 2015. "Firm performance, macroeconomic conditions, and “animal spirits” in a Post Keynesian model of aggregate fluctuations," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(1), pages 38-63, July.
    12. Nicola Meccheri, 2007. "Wage behaviour and unemployment in Keynes' and New Keynesians' views: A comparison," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(4), pages 701-724.
    13. John F. Brothwell, 1986. "after Fifty Years: Why Are We Not All Keynesians Now?," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(4), pages 531-547, July.
    14. Klausinger, Hansjörg, 2000. "Walras' law and the IS-LM model. A tale of progress and regress," Department of Economics Working Paper Series 69, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    15. Dosi, Giovanni & Fagiolo, Giorgio & Napoletano, Mauro & Roventini, Andrea & Treibich, Tania, 2015. "Fiscal and monetary policies in complex evolving economies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 166-189.
    16. Finon, Dominique & Locatelli, Catherine, 2008. "Russian and European gas interdependence: Could contractual trade channel geopolitics?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 423-442, January.
    17. Thierry Warin & Andrew Blakely, 2012. "Choice or Mimetism in the Decision to Migrate? A European Illustration," Global Economy Journal (GEJ), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 12(2), pages 1-32, April.
    18. John P. Watkins, 2000. "Corporate Power and the Evolution of Consumer Credit," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(4), pages 909-932, December.
    19. Birner Jack, 1992. "On The Power Of Ideas Of The Past," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 3(4), pages 1-16, December.
    20. Alessandro Roncaglia, 1983. "The Price of Oil: Main Interpretations and their Theoretical Background," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(4), pages 557-578, July.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:rripxx:v:20:y:2013:i:3:p:421-456. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Chris Longhurst (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.