In Industry, Pollution and Stalin's Battle for Resources the territory of Pechenga, located well above the Arctic circle between Russia, Finland and Norway, holds the key to understanding the geopolitical situation of the Arctic today. With specific focus on the local nickel industry of the region, Lars Rowe explores the interaction between commercial and state security concerns in the Soviet Union.
Through the lens of this local industry a larger historical context is unravelled – the nature of Soviet-Finnish relations after the Russian Revolution, Soviet international relations strategies during the Second World War and the nature of the Stalinist economy in the early post-war years. By presenting this environmentally focused history of a small corner of the Arctic, Rowe offers the historical context needed to understand the current geopolitical climate of the Polar North.
"In Industry, War and Stalin's Battle for Resources, Lars Rowe provides a transnational history of how the Pechenga/Petsamo region bordering Finland, Russia, and Norway became incorporated into the Soviet Union. Having long been part of the Russian Empire, this territory was included in the borders of a newly independent Finland in the aftermath of World War I, only to be returned to Soviet control after World War II, where it served as an important industrial hub. With thorough research and astute insights, Rowe argues that shifting economic and strategic concerns best account for this trajectory of Pechenga from Finland's Arctic gateway to a center for Soviet nickel. It is essential reading for scholars wanting to understand how the geopolitical borders of the Russian northwest and Norwegian northeast came to be."
– Andy Bruno, Northern Illinois University, USA, and author of The Nature of Soviet Power: An Arctic Environmental History