Follow the live-stream here: Fridtjof Nansens Institutt - YouTube

In terms of security and geopolitics, the Arctic region is neither exceptional nor markedly different from other regions experiencing political, economic and geophysical changes. There are, however, certain characteristics that determine the trajectory of Arctic geopolitics that are unique to this specific part of the world. These factors are primarily found at a sub-regional level (e.g., the Barents Sea-region or the Bering Sea-region); by looking at specific issues (e.g., marine resource management or legal disputes); or by studying actors and their Arctic-specific interests and interactions with other Arctic actors. 

In this seminar, we ask one question: what factors might induce more disruption – even conflict – in the Arctic, in the near future? 

To answer this, we ask that each participant presents their views on some key factors or developments that could lead to more dispute and conflict in their specific area of competence. Vice versa: which factors could further stabilise the situation? The goal of the seminar is to do what researchers dislike the most: jump into speculative and futuristic thinking concerning what might happen in the Arctic.  

Note that this is a project-specific seminar related to the grant “Arctic Geopolitics in a New Era” funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, led by the Fridtjof Nansen Institute. We envision that the seminar will achieve several things: it (1) will enable relatively unrestrained speculation about Arctic security in a closed environment; it (2) will help inform our work on a report that can serve as a starting point/backgrounder for the other events we have planned in 2024-2025 in various locations; and (3) it will be the lead-up to a large-scale conference on the same topic in Oslo in early autumn 2024. 

1:00 – 2:15    PANEL I: 
Great Power Competition: Why, What and Where?

  • Gørild Heggelund, Research Professor, Fridtjof Nansen Institute
  • Pavel Devyatkin, Senior Associate, The Arctic Institute and PhD fellow, Higher School of Economics 
  • Whitney Lackenbauer, Professor, Trent University and North American Arctic Defence and Security Network
  • Arne O. Holm, Editor in Chief, High North News 

Andreas Østhagen, Senior Researcher, Fridtjof Nansen Institute and High North Center at Nord University 

2:15 – 2:30            Break 

2:30 – 4:00     PANEL II: 
Norway and the Nordics: Buffer or collateral damage? 

  • Harri Mikkola, Programme Director, Finnish Institute for International Affairs
  • Kristian Søby Kristensen, Senior Researcher, University of Copenhagen
  • Silja Bára R. Ómarsdóttir, Professor, University of Iceland
  • Kristin Haugevik, Senior Researcher, NUPI

Kate Hansen Bundt, Secretary General, The Norwegian Atlantic Committee


The event is being streamed on FNI's YouTube channel: