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Über dieses Buch

This book offers a systematic and comprehensive introduction to the Arctic in the era of globalization, or as it is referred to here, the ‘GlobalArctic’. It provides an overview of the current status of the Arctic as a result of global change, while also considering the changes in the Arctic that have a global effect.

It positions the Arctic within a broad international context, it addresses four main themes are discussed: economics and resources; environment and earth system dynamics; peoples and cultures; and geopolitics and governance. Gathering together expert authors and building on long-term research activities, it serves as a valuable reference for future research endeavors.



Chapter 1. Introduction

Connections between the Arctic and the Earth System, such as the Arctic Haze and the Indian monsoon link, are long established. We have also known for quite a while that the Arctic is warming more than twice as rapidly as the rest of the planet, and that this already does and increasingly will affect the Earth System. However, the Arctic has, at least since the end of the Cold War, also become economically globalized, as a warming Arctic with less ice cover attracts the interest of corporations and other nations, both for its resources and its transport routes. Such globalization of the Arctic can also be identified in its governance, as the Arctic Council—the major regional council and high-level forum for inter-governmental cooperation in the Arctic—has become an important meeting place for both Arctic and non-Arctic states, as well as International and Non-Governmental Organizations, the latter three having the status of observers. In other words, the Arctic has now become global, ecologically, economically, politically and culturally.
Matthias Finger, Lassi Heininen

Chapter 2. Perceiving Dignity, Needs and Rights: Seal Hunting Communities and International Human Rights Standards

Most readers of this paper are presumably familiar with the Canadian seal hunt, in one way or another. Furthermore, it seems fair to assume that the images that come to mind are not of a thriving cultural good that has for centuries been a part of eastern Canadian, particularly Newfoundland’s, society, but rather that of an horrific, blood-drenched activity. This is not surprising given that the seal hunt, the seal hunters, and the entire industry have been vilified for decades while being linked with barbarism, the lack of necessity, and irresponsibility (Lamson 1980). This image has been elementary in shaping international legal responses to the hunt, for example, by instituting trade bans on seal products, such as in the European Union in 2009 (European Union 2009; Sellheim 2013). Also, the seal hunt has been, albeit for environmental reasons, part of the narrative that led to trade barriers such as the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) in the United States in (1972) or the then-European Community’s (1983) ban on trade in products stemming from harp seal and hooded seal pups (European Community 1983)
Nikolas Sellheim

Chapter 3. The Global Land Rush and the Arctic

This chapter discusses the recent Arctic land rush from the viewpoint of the larger literature on the global land rush and land grabbing, little of which has focused on the Arctic. This global view on the Arctic offers theoretical-methodological insights from a burgeoning literature on notable land control changes in different parts of the world (but not the Arctic) and can offer valuable knowledge on two key global/Arctic dimensions.
Markus Kröger

Chapter 4. State-Owned Enterprises in the Arctic

Economic activities in the Arctic play an increasingly important role in the globalizing economy, given that such economies are largely based on natural resources (oil, gas, and minerals), as well as the long-distance transportation of these resources and related goods (such as shipping). The Arctic appears to be one of the last opportunities for global resource exploitation that, ironically, is made possible by the negative effects of this very exploitation in the form of global warming and subsequent receding ice coverage of the circumpolar North. In other words, the Arctic already has, and increasingly will, become more, a part of economic globalization. However, this paper will not discuss if this evolution is either plausible or desirable. Instead, we assume that, given the currently unaltered dynamics of industrial development, this evolution will take place. However, its pace will significantly depend upon the combined effects of several factors: The speed at which Arctic ice is receding; the long-term development of global oil and gas prices; the speed at which fossil fuels will be substituted by alternative energy sources; technological progress in matters of resource; extraction; and (geo-)politics.
Andrey Krivorotov, Matthias Finger

Chapter 5. Tourism at the Crossroads of Contesting Paradigms of Arctic Development

Tourism, like oil and gas development, has made the Arctic a hub of industrial activity. A lot of Arctic tourism is built around nostalgic ideas of frontier expeditions, creating curiosity for a sparsely or uninhabited and untamed environment, enriched by special treats such as Aurora Borealis, whale-watching, and other fruits of nature that professional tourism operators aspire to turn into safe and luxurious experiences. The perceived weakening of the presence of indigenous peoples and their cultures, as well as unspoiled nature has led to these becoming objects of tourist desire. Imaginaries, spread through media and social networks, create a rush due to a growing awareness of “last-chance-to-see” landscapes.
Soile Veijola, Hannah Strauss-Mazzullo

Chapter 6. Arctic Shipping: A Contrasted Expansion of a Largely Destinational Market

In the frame of climate change, sea ice conditions are changing; the length of the navigable season, depending on the vessel ice class, has already expanded and is expected to increase further (Stephenson et al. in Clim Change 118(3–4):885–899, 2013; in Polar Geogr 37(2):111–133, 2014). This reduction in sea ice extent and volume has triggered scenarios of fast expansion of maritime trade along Arctic sea routes. The impact of climate change on melting Arctic sea ice has been widely discussed in the scientific literature, as well as in the media. The media largely reported two events that fuelled these narratives on the advent of Arctic shipping.
Frédéric Lasserre

Chapter 7. Boreal Forests of the Circumpolar World

The boreal forest accounts for about one-third of all global forest resources and is found in seven of the eight Arctic countries. The boreal biome, also known as the taiga, lies south of the Arctic Circle and runs through Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, the United States, and Canada (out of the eight Arctic countries), as well as Japan, Mongolia, and Scotland, making it one of the largest biomes in the world.
Hayley Hesseln

Chapter 8. Climate Change and China’s Rise to Great Power Status: Implications for the Global Arctic

China’s rising great power status will shape the contemporary international order and generate transformation in international practices including in Arctic governance. This chapter investigates China’s emerging great power status and its implications for the Global Arctic, focusing in particular on China’s climate policies. The chapter asks whether and to what extent China’s Arctic engagement is motivated by climate change mitigation.
Sanna Kopra

Chapter 9. The Arctic Paradox (and How to Solve It). Oil, Gas and Climate Ethics in the Arctic

This chapter looks at Arctic oil and gas development from the viewpoint of global climate ethics. The purpose is to analyze how topical issues related to climate justice and responsibility are covered in the current Arctic discourse. The analysis focuses on Arctic discussions on new oil and gas resources that become accessible as the sea-ice melts. It has been argued that the development of oil and gas resources in the Arctic is incompatible with the efforts to limit average global warming to 2 °C (McGlade and Ekins in Nature 517:187–190, 2015). Consequently, the way in which problems and solutions regarding Arctic oil and gas are defined and promoted has global significance.
Teemu Palosaari

Chapter 10. Contemporary Arctic Meets World Politics: Rethinking Arctic Exceptionalism in the Age of Uncertainty

During the last decade, the Arctic has generally become to be understood as an exceptional “zone of peace” and a “territory of dialogue”. The region has been seen as relatively encapsulated from global power politics, characterized primarily as an apolitical space of regional governance, functional co-operation, and peaceful co-existence. However, as the contemporary Arctic is increasingly global, it is potentially not that different from any other region in terms of being increasingly subject to various geoeconomic and politico-strategic dynamics. This has been recently highlighted by various spill-over effects of world politics into the region, such as the conflict in Ukraine or the US withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement. The changed foreign policy behavior of Russia, and changes in US domestic and foreign policy, increase general uncertainty also in the Arctic. At the same time, exceptionalism has shown continuing resilience as Arctic actors have actively tried to maintain regional co-operation in a difficult international environment.
Juha Käpylä, Harri Mikkola

Chapter 11. The Changing Role of Military Power in the Arctic

In the Cold War era, military power was a coercive instrument in a global confrontation between two superpowers and capitalist and socialist systems. The Arctic region was part of this global confrontation; it was a home for strategic nuclear forces (especially Soviet ones) and an important area for significant military activities. Both the United States and the Soviet Union pursued containment strategies, with mutually assured destruction (MAD) doctrine at their cores.
Valery Konyshev, Alexander Sergunin

Chapter 12. The Rise of China in the Emergence of a New Arctic Order

Since 2000, the world has undergone a major transformation in international relations and in the international political economy, brought about largely by the rise of China. This development has created a spill-over effect and has had an impact on global issues such as manufacturing, trade, resources, security, the environment, the balance of power, and the world order. Some of these issues are closely connected with the Arctic region in one way or another, including scientific exploration, climate changes, eco-systems, transportation, and energy.
Xing Li, Bo Peng

Chapter 13. Special Features of Arctic Geopolitics—A Potential Asset for World Politics

The world’s geopolitical situation is influenced by constant warfare, growing military tension and threat of nuclear weapons, global terrorist attacks & counterattacks and fearful responses by people. There is growing geopolitical tension between Russia and the West as Russia is been seen as untrustworthy in its foreign policy, as well as lack of trust between the US and its NATO allies causing uncertainties, growing support for protectionism and distancing the US from multilateral cooperation. This provides excuses for an arms race, a growth in military expenses, constant fights against international terror, and the persistent presence of NATO to enlarge Western governing structures. These findings are important parts of the bigger geopolitical picture, which reflects world politics, the global economy, as well as global relationships between nations. However, this picture is not complete, since there are good arguments for fewer wars, less poverty, more stability and prosperity than 20 years ago. There are also common concerns about environmental degradation and global impacts of climate change, as well as common interests between the Arctic states, including the US and Russia, regarding the Arctic and Arctic issues. Interestingly, new East-West tensions have not (yet) affected the region’s high geopolitical stability, since circumpolar cooperation by states, indigenous peoples and sub-national governments remains resilient. This chapter argues that the globalized stable Arctic is an exceptional political space in world politics, and has potential to be (come) an asset for world politics. This does not result from the classical approach of Great-Game geopolitics, but from applying a critical and constructivist approaches to geopolitics and emphasizing the environment. [The chapter describes the recent transformation of Arctic geopolitics from classical to critical, analyzes common interests between the Arctic states and discusses relevant features of Arctic geopolitics & security as prerequisites for high stability, and final, concludes by asking what might be special features of Arctic geopolitics].
Lassi Heininen

Chapter 14. Diplomacy and Paradiplomacy in the North Atlantic and the Arctic—A Comparative Approach

Paradiplomacy is the concept that sub-regional governments use to handle international relations. In recent decades, sub-regional jurisdictions have been given more self-rule according to the right of self-determination and various voices from different actors have become increasingly crucial in the international debate (Bartmann in Round Table: Commonwealth J Int Aff 95:541–559, 2006; Lecours in Political Issues of Paradiplomacy: Lessons from the Developed World. Netherlands Institute of International Relations “Clingendael”, 2008). The present chapter sheds light on the recent developments in the North Atlantic and the Arctic regarding paradiplomatic relations, with a focus on the sub-regional jurisdictions of the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Nunavut, and Svalbard. Although these regions differ in terms of how they are regulated by national and international jurisdictions, all of these cases apart from Svalbard are also heading towards even more self-government in relation to their respective metropolitan state. Svalbard can be seen as a reverse case, where a kind of ‘reverse paradiplomacy’, or rather normal diplomacy, is at hand. I will elaborate on this subject in a separate section about this region.
Maria Ackrén

Chapter 15. The Arctic as a Laboratory of Global Governance: The Case of Knowledge-Based Cooperation and Science Diplomacy

The take-away message from this chapter is that while the Arctic has historically been heavily influenced by the international political, economic, and security system, the area may now offer important lessons for managing very complex and dangerous systemic processes of power transition. Popular and even academic writing on the Arctic has described international and geopolitical attention to the Arctic as something new (Rosen 2016). This new attention is supposed to have been driven by climate change, which has made natural resources and shipping routes more accessible. There have also been alarmist writings about a sudden new risk of conflict in the Arctic over these natural resources (Bittner 2016). Such “presentism” (Halliday 2001) concerning the Arctic has clouded the research and policy lessons of the Arctic.
Rasmus Gjedssø Bertelsen

Chapter 16. Subnational Tier of Arctic Governance

In the post-Cold War era, subnational actors in the Arctic-regions, members of federations (in Canada, Russia and the United States), autonomies, administrative units, cities, and municipalities—are actively changing their roles in both policy-making and regional governance.
Alexander Sergunin

Chapter 17. Sámi People at Different Levels of Decision-Making Processes in the Global Arctic

This chapter discusses the Sámi people’s position at different levels of decision-making processes, from national to international levels. The Sámi are represented politically in Norway, Sweden, and Finland through three Sámi parliaments, one in each country.
Laura Olsén
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