Prof. Margarita M. Balmaceda, PhD was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but her professional life has centered in the USA (where she received a BA from Johns Hopkins University and an MA and PhD in Politics from Princeton University) and Eastern Europe.
Dr. Balmaceda, Professor of Diplomacy and International Relations, joined the School of Diplomacy and International Relations in 1999, where she received tenure in 2003 and was promoted to Professor in 2010. She teaches courses on the Politics of Ethnic and Cultural Diversity, on Post-Soviet and East European Politics and Foreign Policies, as well on Master's Research Project.
Currently she is an Associate of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and of the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University. A specialist on the comparative energy politics of the post-Soviet states, since 2000 she has been “following the pipeline” – i.e. following the complex web of interconnections that accompany the energy relationship between Russian oil and gas producers, post-Soviet transit states, and European consumers. This research agenda has taken her on multiple field research stays in Eastern Europe and the former USSR, including Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Hungary and Moldova. Support from three Fulbright Awards, as well as funding from the Ford Foundation, the, Humboldt Foundation, the DAAD and many other foundations, has made possible such ambitious research agenda. Fluent in Spanish, Russian, Ukrainian, German, near-fluent in Hungarian and with a good working knowledge of Belarusian, Dr. Balmaceda feels very much at home almost everywhere in Eastern Europe. And with the strong international presence at the School of Diplomacy and International Relations, she is happy to use her language skills in many one-to one discussions with her students.
From 2010-2011, under a $235,000 award from the European Union (Marie-Curie Fellowship from the European Commission/FP7 in partnership with the University of Helsinki) she is conducting a project on “Getting energy from Russia to Europe: Domestic political conditions in the energy-poor transit states of and risks to energy transit,” an area of research she has developed through, among many publications, her books on The Ukrainian-Russian-Central European Security Triangle (Editor, CEU Press, 2000), Energy Dependency, Politics and Corruption in the Former Soviet Union (Routledge 2008) and (under review) The Politics of Energy Dependency: Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania Between Domestic Oligarchs and Russian Pressure, 1992-2010 and Turning Politics into Economics, Dependency into Power: Belarus, Russia and Energy under Lukashenko.
In addition to her academic research, Dr. Balmaceda is active as a consultant and review committee panelist for a number for grant-making institutions, including, in the past, the National Science Foundation, the Fulbright Program, the International Research and Exchanges Board, the Canadian Social Science and Humanities Council, the Swiss Research Foundation, and the American Councils for International Education (ACTR/ACCEELS).
- Post-doctoral training in Ukrainian Studies, Harvard University, 1996-1997
- Ph.D. in Politics, Princeton University
- B.A. in International Studies, Johns Hopkins University
- "Differentiation, materiality, and power: Towards a political economy of fossil fuels," Energy Research and Social Sciences Vol. 39 (2018): 130-140.
- "Energy Policy in Belarus: Authoritarian Resilience, Social Contracts, and Patronage in a Post-Soviet Environment," Eurasian Geography and Economics Vol 55, Issue 4 (2014): 514-536.
- The Politics of Energy Dependency: Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania Between Domestic Oligarchs and Russian Pressure Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2013
- "Corruption, Intermediary Companies, and Energy Security: Lithuania's Lessons for Central and Eastern Europe." July 2008 (Article), 55(4), 16-28
- "Will Cheap Russian Gas Save Ukraine?," Problems of Post-Communism, Vol. 61 No. 2, March-April 2014, pp. 61-67.
- "Privatization and Elite Defection in De Facto States: the Case of Transnistria, 1991-2012," Communist and Post- Communist Studies, Vol. 46 No. 4, December 2013.
- "Venäjä ja Itä-Euroopan energiakäytävä," ("Russia and the Eastern European Energy Corridor") Idäntutkimus: – Finnish Journal of Russian and Eastern European Studies No. 1/ 2011
- "Corruption, Intermediary Companies, and Energy Security: Lessons of Lithuania for the Broader Central-East European Region," Problems of Post-Communism, Vol. 55 No. 4, July/August 2008, pp. 16-28.
- Energy Dependency, Politics and Corruption in the Former Soviet Union: Russia's Power, Oligarchs' Profits and Ukraine's Missing Energy Policy, 1995-2006. London, Routledge, illustrated edition, 2008
- Understanding Repression in Belarus (Book Chapter) In Robert Rotberg (Ed), "The Worst of the Worst: Rogue and Repressive States in the World Order", 193- 222, Washington D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, August 2007
- "Some Thoughts on Rents of Energy Dependency, ‘Rent-seeking Swamps,’ and Political Development: the Ukrainian case in Comparative Perspective,” circulated for discussion at the Workshop on Post-Communist Politics and Economics." Harvard University, 29, March 2006
- Living the High Life in Minsk: Russian Energy Rents, Domestic Populism and Belarus’ Impending Crisis (Budapest and New York: Central European University Press, 2014)
- The Politics of Energy Dependency: Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania Between Domestic Oligarchs and Russian Pressure (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2013, ppk 2015).
- Krupp Senior Fellowship, Greifswald Institute for Advanced Studies, Greifswald, Germany, awarded for 2011-2012
- Marie Curie Fellowship, European Union. $235,000 for a project on Getting Energy from Russia to Europe: Domestic political conditions in the energy-poor transit states of the former USSR and risks to energy transit. Tenable May 2010-September 2011. (In partnership with the University of Helsinki.)
- Visiting Fellowship, Aleksanteri Institute for Russian and Eastern European Studies, University of Helsinki, February-June 2009
- Shklar Fellowship, Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, Harvard University, September-December 2008
- University Research Council Award, 2008, Seton Hall University
- Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Humboldt Fellowship, tenable at Justus-Liebig University, Giessen, Germany, January-August 2005 and April-July 2006 and February-July 2007
- International Research and Exchanges Board, Individual Advanced Research Opportunities Grant for research in Ukraine, Spring-Summer 2004
- The J. William Fulbright Fellowship, Kyiv, Ukraine, Spring-Summer 2004
- The J. William Fulbright Fellowship, (Visiting Lectureship in International Security, Belarusian State University, Minsk, Belarus) (Fall 1997-1998 and Spring 1999)
- The J. William Fulbright Fellowship (doctoral level), Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1989-1990