University of Calgary

Petra Dolata

  • Associate Professor


MA American Studies (with distinction), Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany

PhD International Relations (summa cum laude), Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany

About me

I am an energy historian with a background in both International History and International Relations. Before joining the University of Calgary in July 2014 I was a lecturer at King's College London, UK, first in War Studies (2007-2010) and then in International Politics (2010-2014). At King's I was also the Research Director of the European Centre for Energy and Resource Security EUCERS. From 2002 to 2007 I was Assistant Professor of North American History at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.

I hold a Master's degree in American Studies from Ruhr-Universität Bochum, where I also received my PhD in International Relations with a study on US-German (energy) relations in the late 1950s and early 1960s, which was published in 2006 with Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften (Die deutsche Kohlenkrise in nationalen und transatlantischen Kontext).

I was a Visiting Scholar at the Munk Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto (Government of Canada Award, 2004), at the Centre for European Studies, Carleton University (2008) and the Norwegian Institute for Defense Studies, Oslo (2013). Until 2014, I was a council member of both the German Association of Canadian Studies and the British Association of Canadian Studies. Currently, I am on the editorial board of the Canadian Foreign Policy Journal and the University of Calgary Press, where I serve as the editor for the Energy, Ecology and Environment series. Moreover, I am the review editor for H-Energy. In 2017 I have been appointed Associate, Wilson Institute for Canadian History at McMaster University (2017-2020).

My current research interests include European and North American energy history after 1945 as well as the history and politics of the Canadian and circumpolar Arctic. I have published on Canada's foreign and Arctic policies, transatlantic relations, and the concept of energy security. As the Canada Research Chair in the History of Energy, I am focusing on the 1970s energy crises, energy integration in Europe and North America, and the role of energy in Arctic Canada. My research will show how these different histories of energy affect the role energy plays today in society and politics. I am also the principal investigator of a five-year SSHRC Insight Grant (2017-2022) researching “The 1970s Energy Crises and Energy Security: A Cross-national and Transatlantic History.” I am tracing the emergence of energy security as a powerful story that continues to influence politics. In addition, using oral and everyday historical sources, I am exploring how people have made sense of energy before, and what it means to them now. As the co-convenor of the Energy in Society working group at the Calgary Institute for the Humanities (CIH) I am interested in examining how societies have made sense of energy in their everyday lives as well as part of a larger polity and in understanding energy transitions and energy systems as inherently social, i.e. tied to and embedded within other social practice.

Further Publications

Book Chapters

“Kanada und die USA: Ein ambivalentes Verhältnis.” In: Ursula Lehmkuhl (ed.). Länderbericht Kanada (Berlin: Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, 2018)

with Ludger Basten and Peter Dörrenbacher. “Naturräumliche Potenziale und ihre In-Wert-Setzung in Kanada.” In: Ursula Lehmkuhl (ed.). Länderbericht Kanada (Berlin: Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, 2018)

“Energy and Resource Security.” In: Rob Dover, Huw Dylan, and Michael S. Goodman (eds.). Palgrave Handbook of Intelligence and Security (Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan 2017)

"Energy and Food Security." In: Robert Dover, Michael S. Goodman, Claudia Hillebrand (eds.). Routledge Companion to Intelligence Studies (London: Routledge, 2013)

with Stormy-Annika Mildner: "Schätze am Meeresboden: Wirtschaftliche Potentiale und politische Risiken der Tiefseeförderung." In: Sebastian Bruns, Kerstin Petretto, David Petrovic (eds.). Maritime Sicherheit (Wiesbaden: VS Verlag, 2013)

"Resource Interests and Indigenous Communities in the US and Canadian Arctic Since the 1970s." In: Kerstin Knopf (ed.). North America in the 21st Century: Tribal, Local, and Global (Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 2011): 145-60

"Canada's Arctic Policy: Transcending the Middle Power Model?" In: David Bosold and Nikola Hynek (eds.). Canada's New Foreign and Security Policy: Soft and Hard Strategies of a Middle Power (Don Mills, Ont: Oxford University Press, 2010) 

"Nordamerikas neue 'energy frontier': Ressourceninteressen, Integration und indigene Gemeinschaften in der Arktis." In: Günther Maihold and Jörg Husar (eds.). Energie und Integration in Nord-und Südamerika (Opladen & Farmingtin Hills, MI: Verlag Barbara Budrich, 2010): 107-130 

"Kennedy and Central Appalachia: Fighting Unemployment and Poverty." In: Andreas Etges, Manfred Berg (eds.). John F. Kennedy and the 'Thousand Days': New Perspectives on the Foreign and Domestic Policies of the Kennedy Administration (Heidelberg: Winter, 2007)

"Transnationale Akteure in transatlantischen Wirtschaftsbeziehungen: Arnold, Fortas & Porter als 'political broker' im Kohlenstreit 1958-1962." In: Ursula Lehmkuhl, Clemens A. Wurm, Hubert Zimmermann (eds.) in collaboration with Petra Dolata-Kreutzkamp. Deutschland, Großbritannien, Amerika: Politik, Gesellschaft und Internationale Geschichte im 20. Jahrhundert (Stuttgart: Steiner, 2003)  

Policy Papers

"Understanding the Shift in Energy Security." 2017 Energy Series (Ottawa: Canadian Global Affairs Institute/Institut canadien des affaires mondiale, April 2017)

"The Arctic: A Diverse and Evolving Region." International Policy Analysis (Berlin: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Sept 2015)

"Die Arktis: Eine facettenreiche und sich wandelnde Region." International Policy Analysis (Berlin: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Sept 2015)

"Kanada." In: Hanns Günther Hilpert und Stormy-Annika Mildner (Hrsg.): Nationale Alleingänge oder internationale Kooperation? Analyse und Vergleich der Rohstoffstrategien der G20-Staaten (Berlin: SWP, 2013)

"Canada." In: Hanns Günther Hilpert und Stormy-Annika Mildner (eds.): Fragmentation or Cooperation in Global Resource Governance? A Comparative Analysis of the Raw Materials Strategies of the G20 (Berlin: SWP, 2013)

"'The Arctic is ours': Kanadas Arktispolitik zwischen Souveränität und Klimawandel." Fokus Kanada 2009, 2 (Washington, DC: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, 2009)
[“’The Arctic is ours’: Canada’s Arctic Policy - between Arctic sovereignty and climate change”]

"Canada and the Northwest Passage." In: Strategic Insights: Global Maritime Security Analysis 16 (February 2009)

Book Reviews

James Fergusson and Francis Furtado (eds.). Beyond Afghanistan: An International Security Agenda for Canada (Victoria: University of British Columbia Press, 2016). H-Diplo Roundtable Review 19, 37 (2018), 28 May 2018

Adam Lajeunesse. Lock, Stock, and Icebergs: A History of Canada’s Arctic Maritime Sovereignty (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2016). Zeitschrift für Kanada-Studien 66 (2017): 144-5    

Greg Donaghy. Grit: The Life and Politics of Paul Martin Sr. (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2015). H-Diplo Roundtable Review 17, 18 (2016), 4 April 2016

P. Whitney Lackenbauer. The Canadian Rangers: A Living History (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2013). Zeitschrift für Kanada-Studien 35 (2015): 168-70

Jonathan Paquin and Patrick James (eds.). Game Changer: The Impact of 9/11 on North American Security (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2014). H-Diplo Roundtable Review 16, 13 (2014), 22 December 2014

Janice Cavell and Jeff Noakes. Acts of Occupation: Canada and Arctic Sovereignty, 1918–25 (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2010). British Journal of Canadian Studies 26, 1 (2013): 129-30

Patrick Lennox. At Home and Abroad: The Canada-US Relationship and Canada’s Place in the World (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2014). H-Diplo Roundtable Review 12, 20 (2011), 16 May 2011

Community and Media

The Global Exchange - A CGAI Podcast: The Shifting Tides within Canada's Energy Industry

Guest on The Heat with Anand Naidoo, CGTN, Trump to meet Merkel, 14 March 2017

Interview wit Radio SRF (Swiss Public Radio station), Energiehistorikerin Petra Dolata – Brände in Kanadas Ölprovinz, 11 May 2016

Guest on The Agenda with Steve Paikin, TVO, Canada's Energy Past and Future, 15 September 2015

Panelist on The Agenda with Steve Paikin, TVO, Germany in the World, 6 March 2015

Interviews in 2014 and 2015 on energy questions with Charles Adler (AM680 CJOB)

Interviews with BBC World Service, BBC 5 Live and BBC Scotland on Québec elections (September 2012) and with BBC Five Live Double Take on Nigel Farage and the Canadian Reform Party (May 2013)

Diverging Interests Could Strain German-Canadian Ties. Deutsche Welle 15 August 2012

Kanada, das nördlichste Amerikafundiert: Das Wissenschaftsmagazin der Freien Universität Berlin 2 (2007): 86-91

“Amerikanisches Nord-Südgefälle: In Nordamerika spielt man keinen Fussball.” WIR: Magazin für die Ehemaligen der FU Berlin 1 (2006): 42

“Sportspiegel: Ein Lauf durch die amerikanische Geschichte.” WIR: Magazin für die Ehemaligen der FU Berlin 2 (2003): 51

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