In the wake of climate change and new geopolitical conditions, the Arctic is of great interest to states, not just as a region of competition and cooperation but as one that forces a fundamental reconceptualization of how the modern state system categorizes the world. It is simultaneously a place of land, water, and ice; seen as empty yet containing a vibrant indigenous population; an inaccessible region where Europe, Asia, and North America nonetheless meet. These contradictions create challenges for the peoples and states that wish to govern the region.
This project extends past research in order to build foundations for governance in the Arctic. Having gathered information about how policymakers and other actors view the Arctic through two phases of interviews in the circumpolar North, I will gain further insight by classifying governance proposals for the region and discussing these proposals directly with the group(s) that made them. That is, I will specifically examine proposed institutions, legal instruments, and agreements that are devoted to cooperation among national governments, and how support for one or another of these governance arrangements builds on perceptions of the Arctic’s material environment. I will then follow up with interviews in which I inquire further into why respondents support a particular proposal, and code both proposals and justifications in parallel databases to identify correlations.
This research, to be carried out at Royal Holloway, U. of London, will be in collaboration with Prof Klaus Dodds, an expert in polar governance. Together, we intend to forge a nexus between academic communities and policymakers in Europe and North America, sharing ideas and theories with relevant parties. Because regional change is creating a challenging policy environment for the EU, it is imperative that Europe gain a better understanding of the driving forces behind specific groups’ positions and the implications of various policy options.
Call for proposal
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