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Arctic Strategies

Alyson Bailes & Lassi Heininen, University of Iceland | December 2012

Abstract: "The future of the Arctic, as its ice melts by land and sea, has become a hot topic in governmental as well as academic and media circles.  Over the last decade, each of the eight countries that founded the Arctic Council - Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden and the USA - has published at least one major policy document on the topic, as has the European Union as an institution.  Often called Arctic ‘strategies', these documents address a wide range of issues in the economic, environmental, and institutional fields as well as more basic issues of safety and sovereignty. They reveal a lot about different actors' concerns and goals, both on substantial issues and the future governance of Arctic affairs. A comparison of these strategies holds interest also for small state studies, since some of Europe's smallest states and territories coexist in the Arctic space with giants like the USA and Russia. According to theory, the weaker players in such a group should be looking for solutions through protection from larger powers, and/or from institutions that can help to establish a level playing-field of law and regulation. In the Arctic, the shape of such solutions is only gradually emerging. What outcomes, similar or different, are the individual small nations of the region working for and what actual impact are they having on the process? This study by Alyson JK Bailes of the University of Iceland and Lassi Heininen of the University of Rovaniemi addresses all those questions and more, including the functionality and the theoretical basis of ‘strategies' as such."

This 130 pages book "Strategy Papers on the Arctic or High North: A comparative study and analysis" is available for free as a PDF download at the Centre for Small State Studies, Institute of International Affairs, University of Iceland.


Tags: | Arctic | high north |

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