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Research Topics

Actors and patterns of cooperation and conflict
Russia, Norway and the High North - Past, Present, Future
The United States in the 21 Century Arctic
Defining an Interest: The European Union and the High North
The Power of Energy
Law of the Sea and Ocean Governance
Climate Change and Environmental Protection

Actors and patterns of cooperation and conflict


In order to secure intellectual coherence in the programme, the programme leader has produced a list of general definitions and questions that the participants should keep in mind when developing and writing their more spedific research projects. It is not required taht all projects explicitly address these questions. However, the overall purpose should be taken into acount in the design of research, including selection of topics and choice of theory and methodology. It rests with the programme leader and the work package leaders in particular to ensure that the following points are kept in mind and illuminated: 

Definitions of terms that we like all programme participants to apply in their research to the degree possible. these definitons should be regarded as starting points, and the programme participants should have in mind both the dynamic character and the practioners' usage of the terms.


  • Geopolitics reflects the connection between power, interests and geographical space. In this programme, it denotes in partiular the interplay of natural resources, strategic dominance and geographic space on the one hand, and the various state and non-state actors pursuing individual as well as collective interests on the other.
  • The High North is confined to the European Arctic areas. It includes those parts of the Noric countries and Russia that participate in the Barnets Euro-Atlantic Region, the Norwegian Sea, the Barents Sea dn the southern parts of the Arctic Ocean.
  • The Arctic is the totality of the areas north of the polar circle (the circumpolar Arctic)



  • How can your research contribute to an assessment of the geopolitical significance ofthe region in the 21st century, to a precise description of the geopolitical constellation in the region, and to an understanding of the dynamics of change in the geopolitical situation of the region?
  • What assumptions have you made about global developments and their impact in the region in the relevant time horizon?
  • Who are the most important actors, and what are their agendas and interests in the region that are relevant to the scope of your work? Which historical experiences and other factors drive their intersts, and which interests drive their policies?
  • How will your research illuminate existing and potential areas of conflict and cooperation in the region?
  • How can existing or alternative models of governance, including existing  institutions and frameworks of international law or regulations, contribute to coping with the challenges in the region?
  • How will your research highlight elements of continuity and change?
  • What implications do your research findings have for Norway, for Norweigan interests and for future Norweigan policy options in the region?
  • How does your research relate to the other reserach areas in the programme?





©2014-2017 Geopolitics in the High North. All rights reserved

Norwegian Institute for defence Studies CSIS Fritjof Nansen Institute Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik University of Tromsø Moscow State Institute of International Relations (University) of the MFA of Russia University of Oslo Institute of general history Norwegian Defence Research Establishment Econ Pöyry
  The GeoPolitics in the High North research programme is now terminated, and the programme website will be preserved through 2016, but not updated.
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For more information about current IFS research on the High North, please visit our website:

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