Date of Award

Spring 5-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


International Studies

Committee Director

Regina Karp

Committee Member

Austin Jersild

Committee Member

Erika Frydenlund


The debate over the 1,200 kilometer Nord Stream 2 pipeline, capable of delivering 110 billion cubic meters of liquified natural gas (LNG) under the Baltic Sea directly from Russia to Germany, has received global attention since its declaration of intent in 2015. The Nord Stream 2 pipeline is not only significant for the contestation it has created within the European Union but for the divisions it has deepened in the U.S.-German transatlantic alliance. Specifically, many European countries, with an emphasis on Ukraine, and the United States view the pipeline as a Kremlin-instigated operation to exploit Europe’s vulnerability to energy demand to achieve its own strategic objective to weaken European energy security and undermine the western liberal order. Meanwhile, Germany views the pipeline as a pragmatic economic project to ensure a reliable energy supply, both for Germany and the European Union.

As a test case to build a critique of interdependence theory, Nord Stream 2: The Gas Curtain of Europe, also makes up for the current lack of research and analysis on the development of Nord Stream 2 by providing qualitative explanations for how we debate Nord Stream 2, the geopolitical challenges posed by the pipeline, and finally, what the pipeline means for European energy security. This thesis states two conclusions. First, that the completion of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline was possible due to a history of interdependencies between Europe and Russia, specifically, Germany and Russia. Second, contrary to what interdependence theory suggests, due to the current environment in Europe and Germany’s response to Russia’s second invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, the interdependencies between Germany and Russia have disintegrated and the likelihood of regaining a stable relationship of interdependence is incumbent upon the future outcome of the situation in Europe and specifically, Ukraine.