Watch the seminar recording here: Arctic Ocean Governance: Cooperation after Conflict?

Wed., May 11, 2022 | 3:30pm - 5:00pm (09:30 PM in Oslo)
Zoom/ Taubman Building - Allison Dining Room, 5th Floor , Harvard Kennedy Law School. 

As the Arctic thaws, cooperation in the Arctic Ocean is critical to maintain the fragile ecosystems on which so many people depend. With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine upending Arctic diplomacy, the question of how to proceed with Arctic Ocean governance has become more urgent than ever.

Join the Arctic Initiative for a seminar that explores the history of cooperation in the Barents Sea and Bering Strait, as we discuss a path forward for cooperation in the Arctic in a time of conflict. 

Attendance: In-person attendance is limited to Harvard ID holders. Members of the public are welcome to attend virtually via Zoom. For those who cannot attend live, the seminar will be recorded and available to watch on this page.

Registration: Please RSVP at the link. Registration will remain open until the event begins.


The Arctic is on the economic and political agenda. How to best govern the vast maritime domains in the North coincides with global debates on ocean governance and the ‘blue economy’. At the same time, disputes over who has what rights at sea continue to emerge both in the Arctic and around the world. Cooperation with Russia in the North has also been postponed or cancelled altogether. However, there are areas and topics that will require collaboration with Russia, no matter the current political implications. Examples include protection of the marine environment and management of fishing, in particular in the Barents Sea, the Bering Strait region, and the Central Arctic Ocean. What issues should be addressed in this regard? What will be the challenges and implications of the invasion in Ukraine? What lessons does the Arctic hold for global ocean governance in general? This seminar will examine different dimension of ocean governance in the Arctic looking specifically at cooperation between Russia and the United States, as well as Norway. 


Format: Panel-discussion with 10-min introductory statements

3:30 - Welcome and Introduction 

  • Fran Ulmer, Senior fellow, Arctic Initiative, Belfer Center

3:40 - Opening Presentations 

  • Andrey Todorov, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Arctic Initiative, Belfer Center
  • Andreas Østhagen, Senior Researcher, Fridtjof Nansen Institute & High North Center, and Fulbright Fellow at the Wilson Center / Belfer Center

4:00 - Moderated Discussion

4:30 - Audience Q&A 

5:00 - End