Indra Overland (spelled Øverland in Norwegian) is a specialist on energy politics. He did his PhD at the Scott Polar Research Institute of the University of Cambridge, UK, and has later published on a broad range of energy politics issues. The PhD was awarded the Toby Jackman Prize at the University of Cambridge.
He has worked for the Norwegian Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, the Norwegian Refugee Council and the Nordic Research Board. Currently he is Acting Head of the Department of Russian and Eurasian Studies at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) and Assistant Professor at the University of Tromsø in northern Norway.
Some of his main works include Caspian Energy Politics: Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan (Routledge, 2010), Russian Renewable Energy: The Potential for International Cooperation (Ashgate, 2009), The Caspian Sea Region towards 2025 (Eburon, 2010).
He is best known for his contribution of the concept 'slippery slopes' to the theorisation of the resource curse. 'Slippery slopes' refers to the difficult decision that authoritarian and semi-authoritarian rulers make between crackling down on opposition or allowing it to simmer, and the potential role of natural resource rents in making this decision.
Overland has appeared regularly as a commentator in the main Norwegian media, as well as in international media. He has been cited by among others Newsweek, Associate Press and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Dagbladet, Verdens Gang, Dagsrevyen, Urix, Dagsnytt 18, Her og nå, Klassekampen, TV2 Alltid nyheter.
Indra Overland represented NUPI in the RussCasp project, a large-scale, five-year joint research project of the Fridtjof Nansen Institute, the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs and Econ Poyry on petroleum issues in Russia and the Caspian region. RussCasp is financed by the Norwegian Research Council.