chapter  6
Sports fields and corporate governmentality: Gazprom’s all- Russian gas program as energopower
Pages 16

Russia’s biggest enterprise, a parastatal energy company Gazprom, has adopted many societal tasks, which are typically considered as the responsibility of states or regional self-governing authorities, in the communities where it operates. This practice is not unique globally and has firm historical roots in post-socialist space. Developing sports facilities is a prime example and one way that Gazprom has sought to craft a positive image for itself throughout Russia. However, the way these amenities are chosen and produced as part of Russian national gas program, Gazifikatsiya, raises questions about the positive connotations accorded to the chosen amenities and how they are utilized to control and govern the Russian populace from afar. Accordingly, this chapter will scrutinize the stateenterprise-population relationship by looking at the construction of sports facilities tied to the all-Russian gas program via a case study from one Russian region, Karelia. By studying the words and deeds of Gazprom’s governmentality through its Gazifikatsiia program, it is possible to unravel how power, truths, and identities are being constructed in and through energy networks. Pivotal to this study is the understanding that the materialities, spatialities, and infrastructures related to energy constitute a form of agency. This understanding views the social as ultimately an assemblage of the human and the non-human, as elaborated by scholars working with the ideas of Bruno Latour’s actor-network theory (e.g., Alcadipani and Hassard 2010; Collier 2011; Dolwick 2009; Murdoch 1998). Actornetwork theory posits that materialities, such as infrastructure or the natural environment, produce both inertia and action due to the social norms and practices that are tied to them. This chapter, therefore, examines the material roots of the governmentality practiced by Gazprom. The Gazifikatsiia program is analyzed using a methodological power-analytics approach informed by the research traditions of both Foucault (1991) and Latour (2005).