A Governance and Risk Inventory for a Changing Arctic

In Duncan Depledge and P. Whitney Lackenbauer (eds), On Thin Ice? Perspectives on Arctic Security. North American and Arctic Defence and Security Network (NAADSN) , Canada, 2021, pp. 12-22.

In chapter two, Elana Wilson Rowe, Ulf Sverdrup, Karsten Friis, Geir Hønneland, and Mike Sfraga caution against viewing trends of conflict and cooperation in the Arctic in binary terms. While the US and Europe are determined to confront malign activity in the region, all sides continue to “demonstrate a commitment to cooperation and joint solutions to common challenges.” After reviewing the key factors and drivers supporting and challenging stability in the Arctic, the authors remind us that “cooperation in conflict” has long been the norm in the region, allowing cooperative governance to progress despite the enduring NATO-Russia military rivalry. Ongoing dialogue in the region –essential for addressing the regional and global implications of climate change –is poorly served by focusing on “narratives or practices of strategic competition alone.” To avoid “political tipping points” beyond which cooperation will become too difficult, the authors call on policymakers to be more proactive in how they address emerging governance challenges related to security and economic development.



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