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Pami Aalto

Professor, Jean Monnet Professor, International Relations (specifically European integration and Regional Cooperation)
Faculty of Management and Business | Politics | International Relations

About me

Pami Aalto works at the interface of European integration, international relations and political economy, specialising on energy policy issues. His main interest is in interdisciplinary work on energy transitions and energy issues in general, as well as international environmental governance, where alongside scholarly work he also seeks to engage with the business, public administration and NGO sectors.


Jean Monnet Professor in International Relations in the Politics programme 

PI, Research platform on Climate Neutral Energy Systems and Society CNESS,

PI, Tampere university profiling area 'Sustainable Security Practices' (2023-25)


Fields of expertise

He has worked on all major sources of energy and components of the energy system and has interests in interdisciplinary studies of energy transitions and international environmental governance alongside energy geopolitics and great power relations. The bulk of the work has revolved on the European, Nordic, Baltic, Arctic, Eurasian and East Asian regions.

Project links

Top achievements

Professor Aalto has worked as a visiting researcher in Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Japan, Russia, and as a doctoral student, in the UK. 

Mission statement

Aalto develops new approaches to energy policy research such as the structuration approach, contributes to institutionalist literature and seeks to build paths for an interdisciplinary synthesis in the field of energy research, in order to find solutions applicable to the ongoing energy transition. This incluces also the security dimensions of the transition. 

Research topics

Energy transition and energy security (USA, EU, the Nordic countries including Finland, Germany, Japan, East Asia); Russian and Arctic energy policies, geopolitics of hydrogen, security of critical energy infrastructure, black carbon governance

Research unit

Research platform 'Climate Neutral Energy Systems and Society' (CNESS), & Tampere Centre for Security, Risk and Resilience (TASERR),>

Research fields

International Relations, energy research, policy research

Selected publications

Aalto, P. (2021, ed.) Electrification: Accelerating the Energy Transition. Amsterdam: Academic Press/Elsevier. 

Kotilainen, K., Aalto, P., Rautiainen, A., Kojo, M., Valta, J., Sovacool, B. (2019) ’From national lock-in to policy mixes for Nordic electric mobility: What can we learn to accelerate future transitions?’, Policy Sciences 52: 573-600. 

Kilpeläinen, S., Aalto, P., Lehtonen, P., Toivanen, P. and Holttinen, H. (2019) ’How to Achieve a More Resource Efficient and Climate Neutral Electric Energy System by 2030: Views of Nordic Experts’, Review of Policy Research. DOI: 10.1111/ropr.12347 

Pääkkönen, A., Aro, K., Aalto, P., Konttinen, J., Kojo, M. (2019) ’The potential of biomethane in replacing fossil fuels in heavy transport – A case study on Finland’, Sustainability 11 (17), 4750, 1-19. 

Aalto, P., Nyyssönen, H., Kojo, M. and Pal, P. (2017) ‘Russian nuclear energy diplomacy in Finland and Hungary’, Eurasian Geography and Economics 58(4): 386-417 (doi: 10.1080/15387216.2017.1396905)  

Lehtonen, P., Aalto, P. (2017) ‘Smart and Secure Borders through Automated Border Control Systems in the EU? The Views of Political Stakeholders in the Member States’, European Security 26(2): 207-25. (doi: 10.1080/09662839.2016.1276057). 

Aalto, P. (2016) ‘Modernisation of the Russian Energy Sector: Constraints to Utilising Arctic Offshore Oil Resources’, Europe-Asia Studies 68(1): 38-63. (doi: 10.1080/09668136.2015.1113509). 

Aalto, P. (2014) ‘Institutions in European and Asian Energy Markets: A Methodological Overview’, Energy Policy 74: 4-15 (doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2014.08.022) 

Aalto, P. (2014) ‘Energy Market Integration and Regional Institutions in East Asia’, Energy Policy 74: 91-100 (doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2014.08.021) 

Aalto, P., Dusseault, D., Kennedy, M.D. and Kivinen, M. (2014) ‘Russia’s Energy Relations in the East and West: Towards a Social Structurationist Approach to Energy Policy Formation’, Journal of International Relations and Development 17(1): 1-29 (doi:10.1057/jird.2012.29). 

Aalto, P., Korkmaz Temel, D. (2014) ‘European Energy Security: Natural Gas and the Integration Process’, Journal of Common Market Studies 52(4): 758-74 (doi: 10.1111/jcms.12108). 

Aalto, P. (2012, ed.) Russia’s Energy Policies: National, Interregional and Global Levels. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Aalto, P., Harle, V., Moisio, S. (2012, eds.) Global and Regional Problems: towards Interdisciplinary Study. Farnham: Ashgate (re-published by Routledge 2016).

Aalto, P., Harle, V. and Moisio, S. (2011, eds.) International Studies: Interdisciplinary Approaches. Basingstoke: Palgrave. 

Aalto, P., Blakkisrud, H., Smith, H. (2008, eds.) The New Northern Dimension of European Neighbourhood. Brussels: Centre for European Policy Studies.

Aalto, P. (2007, ed.) The EU—Russia Energy Dialogue: Europe’s Future Energy Security. Aldershot: Ashgate/Routledge republished 2016.

Aalto, P. (2006) European Union and the Making of a Wider Northern Europe. London: Routledge. 

Aalto, P. (2003) Constructing Post-Soviet Geopolitics in Estonia. London: Frank Cass/Routledge. 

Aalto, P., Dalby, S., Harle, V. (2003, eds.) ‘The Critical Geopolitics of Northern Europe: Identity Politics Unlimited’, special issue of Geopolitics 8(1).