Few places have been the source of as much speculation, hype, and broad statements as the Arctic region at the start of the 21st century. Propelled to the agenda by climate change, flag-plantings and resource appraisals a decade ago, the Arctic continues to lure researchers and journalists to venture northwards to ‘the next great game’.

However, scholars have now debunked the notion of ‘resource wars’ in the North. Oil and gas resources – both onshore and offshore – are located the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) or territories of the Arctic states themselves, as approximately 90% of the oil and gas resources of the circumpolar North are under the control of the littoral states. Nevertheless, notions of Arctic conflict and great power politics over the North Pole keep emerging on the political and news agenda.

This project asks: Why is it so, and how accurate are such descriptions? How do the various Arctic countries - with an emphasis on the coastal states - really perceive the security situation in the north? And what room for action exists to establish new forms of security policy dialogue in the north?

Project period: 2020





Norwegian Ministry of Defence, Research Support Programme