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Articles and papers 2010

Oran R. Young (UCSB):
Arctic Governance - Pathways to the Future, Arctic Review on Law and Politics 1 (2010): 164-185.
Abstract: The Arctic has become a highly dynamic socio-ecological system due largely to the interacting forces of climate change and a suite of factors that we commonly group together under the rubric of globalization. The result is a cascade of developments that are accentuating the links between Arctic processes and global systems and generating new needs for governance to maintain sustainable human-environment relationships in the circumpolar north. This article addresses the resultant challenge of Arctic governance with particular reference to five themes: (i) the underlying drivers of change in the Arctic, (ii) the identity of legitimate stakeholders in responding to emerging issues of governance, (iii) the framing of Arctic issues for purposes of policymaking, (iv) calls for an international agreement for the Arctic Ocean, and (v) proposals for a comprehensive and legally binding treaty for the Arctic as a whole. The analysis yields negative conclusions regarding some popular proposals (e.g. calls for an Arctic Treaty). But this does not mean there is no need or no scope for innovative initiatives relating to Arctic governance. The conclusion sets forth a series of more modest but also more realistic recommendations aimed at enhancing good governance in this dynamic setting. 

Andreas Maurer (SWP):
The Arctic region - perspectives from member states and institutions of the EU, SWP Working paper, 2010
Abstract: The Arctic Region causes many challenges for a set of different EU policies and activities such as the Northern Dimension, the EU’s policies regarding maritime security and safety, the EU’s research programmes and activities on transport and trade, environmental and climate policies, fishing activities, and the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP).  These activities may intersect as for example the climate change and its impact on the coasts and oceans will affect transport and trade options.  Additionally, the EU is acting with a heterogeneous set of actors in the context of the Arctic region: there are the external Arctic actors USA, Canada and Russia, and those with deeply institutionalized relations with the EU, i.e. Norway and Iceland.  The paper identifies how the EU internally has developed so far positions on the Arctic across different European Actors and secondly derivates the EU’s relationship towards other Arctic actors. 

Lawson Brigham: 

The Arctic - Think again, Foreign policy, Sept/Oct., 2010
Abstract: The central thesis of this article is that anarchy does not reign at the top of the world.  The Arctic Ocean is governed like other marine regions of the planet: the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea is the legal framework for the Arctic Ocean and provides stability and an orderly process particularly for the ongoing claims to the extended continental shelf.  Thus, it is highly unlikely that the Arctic states will ever agree to any new, comprehensive agreement similar to the legally-binding Antarctic Treaty. Also noted is that climate change is not the only driving force for transformation in the Arctic. Globalization of the Arctic ~ the increasing linkage of Arctic natural resources to global markets ~ is also a key driver of change indicated by new investments in the north and increased Arctic marine traffic.  The Arctic is considered a vast storehouse of natural resources and the region will be economically linked to the globe more closely than ever before. While the region is witness to some friction and challenging issues, no one is contesting the fundamental sovereignty of the states in the region and few believe military conflict in the region is inevitable.  Ongoing international collaboration in areas such as scientific research, environmental protection, sustainable development, search and rescue, and law enforcement is building trust in the region and will hopefully be the norm in the coming decades.  

Kristian Åtland (FFI):
The Security Implications of Climate Change in the Arctic Ocean, paper presented at the NATO Advanced Research Workshop on "Environmental Security in the Arctic Ocean", University of Cambridge, 13-15 October 2010. 
Abstract: The dramatic changes currently taking place in and around the Arctic basin – ice melting, sea level rise, permafrost thaw, coastal erosion, etc. – are likely to have a major impact on the security situation of the Arctic coastal states, as well as that of outside actors, in the coming decades. The changes raise not only environmental security concerns, but also secondary concerns related to the dynamics of intra- and interstate relations. In some scenarios, climate change may serve as an “instability accelerator” and aggravate tensions within and between states. This is not to say that a “remilitarization” of the Arctic Ocean is inevitable, or that the Arctic is more conflict-prone than other regions. The link between climate change and conflict is far from self-evident, and there are many other intervening variables such as the role of regional institutions, governments, and social actors in managing the process of environmental change, mitigating resource pressures, and containing tensions.


Kristian Åtland (FFI):
Climate change and security in the Arctic. Paper presented at the Isa Conference, New Orleans, February 2010.
The melting of the polar ice cap is opening previously inaccessible parts of the Arctic region to resource extraction and marine transportation. If the retreat of the Arctic sea ice continues at its current pace, ice conditions on the northern coasts of Russia and Canada may at some
point allow for near year-round shipping through the Northeast and Northwest Passages. Simultaneously, commercially important fish stocks such as cod and capelin are gradually moving north, due to increasing water temperatures. And, perhaps most importantly, technologies are being developed for the utilization of petroleum resources on the Arctic
continental shelf, which holds an estimated 31 percent of the world's remaining reserves of natural gas, and 13 percent of the world's remaining reserves of oil. As a result of these
developments, the Arctic is emerging as a region of major geopolitical significance to Russia, Canada, the United States, the European Union, and Norway, as well as the rest of the world. Previously non-pressing disputes over access to natural resources and strategic shipping lanes are coming to the surface, raising concerns about a possible "remilitarization" of the region. This paper will discuss possible long-term security implications of climate change in the Arctic. To what extent, and how, will increasing water temperatures and sea ice melting affect the nature of interstate relations in the region, the Arctic conflict potential, and the orientation of national security strategies in the decades to come? And what can Arctic rim states do to prevent the "worst case" scenario – a destabilization of the region – from materializing?

Ingrid Lundestad (IFS):

US security policy in the European Arctic in the early 21st century. Paper presented at the Isa Conference, New Orleans, February 2010
 Abstract: The United States has in 2009 taken steps to reformulate US Arctic policy. A presidential directive has been signed and new initiatives announced. These measures signify increased US interest in the region, coinciding with growing international attention towards the Arctic. Primarily Russia, but also the European Union, China, and several smaller Arctic powers are increasingly interested in the region as climate change is affecting the geopolitical conditions in the north. The paper analyzes the evolution of US security policy in the European Arctic in the early 21st century. It explores how and to what extent US security interests are seen at stake in the region – a topic which has not been sufficiently illuminated despite the growing interest in the region.     

Kristian Åtland (FFI): 

Russia and its neighbors: military power, security  politics and interstate relations in the post-cold war Arctic, Arctic review on law and politicsVol 1, No.2, 2010 forthcoming
Abstract: In recent years, and particularly after Russia’s spectacular flag planting on the ocean floor at the North Pole on 2 August 2007, there has been much talk about “polar imperialism” and the danger of a “great game” in the Arctic. This article sheds light on the topic of interstate relations and the long-term conflict potential in the northernmost part of the globe. While recognizing the continued relevance of military power in the Arctic and the presence of a number of unresolved legal disputes, the article argues that Russia and its northern neighbors have a common interest in maintaining regional stability and avoiding a remilitarization of the region. The 1982 Law of the Sea Convention and regional cooperation arrangements such as the Arctic and Barents Councils are important tools towards this aim. On the other hand, there are many uncertainties regarding Russia’s priorities and strategies for the region.

Arild Underdal (UiO):
Meeting common challenges in the High North: the co-evolution of policies and practices, 13 October 2010
Abstract: This paper is an attempt at developing an analytical framework for answering one of the main questions addressed by the Geopolitics in the High North programme: “How can the complex web of interests be managed through cooperation, dialogue and negotiation, so that constructive and mutually acceptable compromises can be reached?” Observing that this “complex web of interests” generates multiple processes of governance, I begin by searching for a conceptual platform that enables us to study unilateral learning and adaptation as well as negotiation and cooperation as integral and interacting components of a complex governance system. I propose the concept of co-evolution as the cornerstone of such a platform and distinguish between two modes of co-evolution – diffusion and cooperation. The main sections of the paper review relevant research literature in search for findings and propositions that can help us identify the mechanisms at work and the conditions under which diffusion and cooperation are likely to lead to mutually beneficial solutions. Indicating how important governance challenges differ in terms of scores on these conditions, this review builds the case for a “diagnostic” and differentiated approach “matching” capacity-building and strategy to challenge.

Dag Harald Claes (UiO):
Global energy security: resource availability, economic conditions and political constraints,
Paper presented at the panel: Contextualizing energy security and transition.
Concepts, framing and empirical evidence, at the SGIR 7th Pan‐European
International Relations Conference: September 9‐11, 2010.
paper presented at the SGIR 7th Pan‐EuropeanInternational Relations Conference: September 9‐11, 2010.
Abstract: Energy security is back on the international political agenda. Not since the 1970s has energy been a more prominent political issue than today. Energy security is a complex issue with an inherent and intrinsic mixture of geological, economic and political factors. The aim of the paper is to try to disentangle the various aspects of the concept of energy security in order to provide a more nuanced understanding of how structural changes (both political and economic) influence constraints and opportunities for achieving energy security, the mechanisms involved, and the policy implications that follow. In the paper it is distinguish between (i) the physical availability of resources, (ii) the economic conditions for producing crude oil, refining it and bringing it to the consumers, and (iii) the political constraints that embeds these activities. This perspective suggest that oil supplies are insecure in a physical sense if global oil resources are actually depleted, insecure in an economic sense if the costs of producing oil increase beyond consumers ability to pay for it, and insecure in a political sense if they are only attainable by jeopardizing fundamental political values or objectives. At the end of the paper some policy implications for US and European energy strategies are discussed. 

Bettina Rudloff (SWP):
The EU as fishing actor in the Arctic, SWP Working paper, 2010
Abstract: Whether the EU does or should have an interest in the Arctic and accordingly should or should not follow an explicit Arctic strategy remains under political debate. Fisheries is mentioned as one of the relevant sectors both in the Commissions's Communication of 2008 and the subsequent Council's Conclusion of 2009 on the Arctic region and on Arctic issues. 
The paper identifies the role of the EU as fishing actor and as trade partner for fish trade. Therefore the recent relevance of Arctic fishing for the EU compared to other fishing countries and the EU's position as economic fish market for Arctic countries are analyzed. Additionally, the involvement of the EU in relevant regimes for Arctic fisheries and trade is elaborated with a special focus on those regimes that cover possibly newly accessible fishing stocks due to climate change. Finally, existing patterns of conflicts between the EU and Arctic countries on fish matters are summarized. Based on this stocktaking potentials for the future role of the EU in Arctic fisheries will be concluded.

Antje Neumann (SWP):

The EU - a relevant actor in the field of climate change in respect to the Arctic? SWP Working paper 2010.
Abstract: The paper explores the role of the EU in the field of climate change as regards the Arctic. Two different types of activities are considered: first, the EU's declared political statements towards the region concerning climate change, and second, tis measures in the filed of climate change that have an Arctic implication, comprising specific EU programmes and projects. In doing so, individual EU policies - explicit external policies as well as external dimensions of internal policies - are investigated. Due to the specific human implications of climate change in the Arctic, a special focus ins made on indigenous peoples, taking into consideration that the Saami people of Finland and Sweden are the only "Arctic" indigenous people within the EU area. 
The paper comes to the conclusion that climate change, although still of high relevance within EU's policies generally, is not very prominent in respect to the Arctic. Among the investigated individual EU policies, research has by far the most direct implications for the Arctic, while in most of the others a considerable discrepancy between the EU's declared interests towards the Arctic in the field of climate change and its factual actions regarding to this subject can be recognized. The major feature of the EU - its predominant externality as regards to the Arctic in geographical but also in legal terms - is not only one of its major constraints in developing an Arctic strategy, but provides also a significant potential for strengthening the external dimensions of its climate change policy in respect to this region.  

Dag Harald Claes (UIO) and Øistein Harsem (UIT):
Arctic Energy Resources – Curse or Blessing for European Energy Security?
Abstract: Energy security is back on the international political agenda and the European-Russian energy game is complex. In this new working paper Dag Harald Claes (University of Oslo) and Øistein Harsem (University of Tromsø) discuss the political factors which make the Arctic energy resources, in particular natural gas, increase or decrease the energy security of Europe. The aim of this article is to explore this dynamic interdependent relationship between Russia and Europe in the field of energy. Based on the concept of interdependence and perspectives on the political aspects of trade relations we discuss how Russia can exercise power based on its energy resources and how the EU can compensate for its lack of power in the energy game with other trade related capabilities. In particular we explore the implications of the lack of a full-fledged EU foreign energy policy towards Russia, with the somewhat counter-intuitive conclusion that the EU countries, on average, not necessarily are better off with a common foreign energy policy. By drawing from existing literature about ‘economic statecraft’ we will show that natural gas can, through decision makers, play an important role in the future energy supplies to Europe, however, there are important political roadblocks, in addition to geological, technological and economic challenges. 

Olav S. Stokke (FNI):

Governing Arctic Shipping: The nesting of regional instruments in global institutions.
Abstract: Draft version presented at the Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromsø, 28 January 2010 and the International Studies Association’s Annual Convention 18 February 2010. The paper examines the interplay of private, regional, and global governance of maritime transport in a region where shipping is likely to increase significantly. Rising temperatures, albedo-reducing black carbon, and other large-scale changes are in the process of making the Arctic Ocean ice-free during the summer months. These changes pose threats to regional ecosystems but also offer new economic opportunities for utilizing Arctic natural resources, expanding tourism, and perhaps ultimately opening trans-Arctic shipping of raw materials and commodities between Europe or Atlantic North America and Asia. This paper examines the contributions Arctic regional institutions can make to improve the international governance system for Arctic shipping, which centers on the UN-based International Maritime Organization (IMO). A niche-oriented approach to such interplay brings out that while considerable work remains before the Arctic Council is capable of triggering regulatory strengthening within the IMO, it is well equipped to build the knowledge that typically underlies such strengthening and to contribute to a necessary improvement of regional infrastructure, such as search and rescue capacity. When binding region-specific rules on of Arctic shipping is in place, moreover, a regional institution would be well placed to contribute significantly to their regional implementation through coordination of port-state enforcement measures. 

Dag Harald Claes (UiO), Øyvind Østerud (UiO), Øistein Harsem (UiT): 
The New Geopolitics of the High North. Paper presented at the Isa Conference, New Orleans, February 2010
Abstract: The geopolitical importance of the Arctic is again increasing. The renewed interest and politics directed towards the Arctic region from various countries are characterized by its simultaneously conflictual and cooperative aspects. Thus, two questions will be explored in this paper: First, how has the renewed geopolitical importance of the Arctic come about? Secondly, we explore how the renewed geopolitical importance influences the potential for cooperation among Arctic states. One of the key questions regarding the future political governance of the Arctic is how robust the present institutional set-up is when challenges by issues with potential for increased economic completion and political (and military) confrontation and conflict. Only by combining an understanding of conflictive and cooperative interests of states in various issue areas, can we gain a more nuanced understand the potential role of international institutions. 

Katarzyna Zysk (IFS): 

The Arctic in Russia's military strategic thinking. The role of the Northern FleetPaper presented at the Isa Conference, New Orleans, February 2010
Abstract: This paper addresses the Arctic’s military strategic importance to Russia and factors that shape the country’s military posture in the region, in particular the development of its naval component. The Navy in general, and the Northern Fleet in particular as its most combat capable element, is perceived in Russia as an important foreign policy tool in the country’s promotion on the international stage, demonstrating its power and intentions, as a tool of deterrence, as well as of pressure and intimidation. As also other research results show, the continuity in Russian strategic culture through imperial, Soviet and the current Russian eras, is truly striking. As before, Russia seeks its international prestige and superpower status relying in high degree on show of strength and military means, exhibit signs of the persistent fear of threat of external enemies and of further loss of territory or potential internal fragmentation. 
The Russian approach to the Northern Fleet’s basic functions has not evolved much since the Soviet period, and emphasises its contribution to the nuclear deterrence. The continued reliance of the Russian military strategy on nuclear weapons has been corroborated by the priority given to modernisation of the seaborne nuclear capacities, as well as in training patterns. The Northern Fleet’s bases and operational area on the Kola Peninsula and in adjacent waters are also among the main factors deciding about the Arctic’s continued strategic importance to Russia. In the post-Cold War security environment, the Northern Fleet’s missions have expanded mainly in the sphere of protection of Russia’s economic interests. The expected surge in Russian and foreign activities in the ice-diminished Arctic influences the Russian security thinking. This paper examines Russia’s responses to actual and potential implications of the physical and geopolitical transformations in the region, also as a theatre of maritime operations. Subsequently, it addresses developments within the broader context of Russian naval thinking, which has a major impact on the Northern Fleet’s existing and envisaged capacities. It examines Russia’s much publicised ambitions to build a strong blue-water navy and subjects the naval programmes to a reality check. Finally, this paper draws conclusions and implications from the Russian naval priorities for security situation in the Arctic and examines their potential to affect more broadly international affairs. 

Kristian Åtland (FFI):

Im Norden nicht Neues? Die Arktis in Russlands Sicherheitspolitik, Osteuropa, Vol. 60, No. 12
Zusammenfassung: Die Sowjetunion betrachtete die Arktis als ein Gebiet von großer militärischer Bedeutung. Seit dem Ende des Ost-West-Konflikts hat sich dies grundlegend geändert. Die militärische Dimension spielt in Russlands Arktispolitik eine deutliche geringere Rolle, Moskau kooperiert über die ehemaligen Blockgrenzen hinweg mit anderen Staaten und beteiligt sich an zirkumpolaren regionalen Organisationen. Zudem spielen eine Reihe großer Konzerne heute ein gewichtige Rolle im Hohen Norden. Obwohl Gefahr für Russland viel eher an seinen südlichen Grenzen des Landes droht, wird die Arktis in Moskau immer noch als ein Raum angesehen, der nicht nur große wirtschaftliche Bedeutung hat, sondern auch sicherheitspolitisch relevant ist. Das Konfliktpotential in der Arktis sollte dennoch nicht überschätzt werden.

Anastasia S. Kasiyan:
Sibir - a strange nostaliga, book review, Novaja i novejshaja istorija, 2010

Lev Voronkov (MGIMO): 
Geopolitical Dimensions of Transport and Logistics Development in the Barents Euro-Arctic Transport Area (BEATA) in English and in Russian

Robert Huebert (University of Calgary):
Polar frontiersArmed Forced Journal, March 2010  
Abstract:  A new Arctic age is emerging. New forces are transforming the very fabric of the entire region. Some of these changes will positively benefit those people who call the region home, while some will have negative impacts. Decision-makers in the Arctic nations will need to be increasingly mindful of these changes and need to develop policies that are innovative, proactive and intelligent.
Despite public pronouncements of their desire to cooperate in the region, all of the Arctic states have begun the process of strengthening their armed forces’ abilities to operate in the region. It is therefore correct to ask the question whether we are headed into an Arctic arms race. Even if one takes the view that the threat of an arms race is just that, a threat, Arctic nations must either take robust diplomatic efforts to short-circuit that threat, or they must develop more robust and capable northern armed forces.

Konstantin Voronkov (MGIMO):

Arctic issues, World economy and international relations, October 2010 

Katarzyna Zysk (IFS):

Russia’s Arctic Strategy: Ambitions and Constraints, Joint Force Quarterly, Issue 57 2nd Quarter 2010, National Defense University Press, Washington DC
Abstract: Russia stands out as one of the most determined actors in the Arctic. A focus on the region features increasingly in Russian domestic and foreign policy discourse, particularly since President Vladimir Putin’s second presidential term. The importance of the Arctic to Russia on the one hand, and growing international interest on the other, has fuelled Russia’s determination to make its role as a central Arctic nation eminently clear by political, economic and military means. In September 2008, Russia endorsed “The fundamentals of state policy of the Russian Federation in the Arctic for the period up to 2020 and beyond”. The policy aims at preserving Russia’s role as a “leading Arctic power”. This paper addresses major elements in the Russian development plans, including objectives within the economic, legal and military sphere, and prospects for their implementation. It examines the geopolitical context of the Russian Arctic policies and sheds light on the impact of the country’s foreign policy rhetoric on the regional security environment.

Ingrid Lundestad: 

US security policy and regional relations in a warming Arctic, Swords and ploughshares, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
Volume XVII, No. 3, fall 2009
The article addresses the evolution of US security policy in the Arctic, and moves on to discuss present US security priorities, focusing on both traditional priorities as well as newer elements related to the changing environment in the north. Moreover, the article examines US regional relations, centering on Russian security policy while also including a brief overview of the regional approaches of the Nordic countries. Lastly, the article indicates how future US priorities and relations in the Arctic may become interlinked with broader foreign policy goals of President Obama. 

Katarzyna Zysk
Russia's Perspectives on Arctic Security, Baltic Rim Economies, The Pan-European Institute, 4/2010, p. 17
Abstract: As one of the most determined key regional players, Russia has a preponderant impact on political developments in the Arctic due to the country’s geographical position, and strong economic and military interests. Traditional “hard” security connected first and foremost to the region’s central role in Russia’s nuclear deterrence strategy, continues to weight heavily in the country’s thinking about the Arctic. However, transformations in the regional environment have led the leadership to put a stronger emphasis on “soft” and asymmetrical security challenges in recent years. An increased international interest for the region and prospects for a sharp increase in human activity generate new mission requirements for Russian security structures deployed in the region, including the Navy, the Federal Security Service (FSB), and its branch the Border Guard.

Stian Bones (UiT):

Polarforskning tinte den kalde krigen, Labyrint, (in Norwegian), No.2, 2010 

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