Arctic Yearbook 2012
UArctic and NRF TN on Geopolitics and Security Update: Highlights from Calotte Academy 2012
and non-state actors in relation to the perceived economic value of various northern spaces.
Observers have underlined the fact that the regional landscapes of Arctic spaces are changing due, in
part, to new economic factors brought by external pressures (e.g. emerging markets). In that context,
the role of TNCs and their related activities in the region were highlighted and discussed by various
Academy participants. Additionally, from an economic development perspective, both adequacy and
efficiency of existing legal arrangements and (management) regimes as well as their conceptual and
ideological underpinnings were also raised among topics in need of enhanced investigation by
‘Challenging’ Arctic Futures
Participants also underlined the need to attract more attention on how different depictions of the
Arctic, framed as a rapidly changing space/place, remain unchallenged. Indeed, further research
should be dedicated to challenging the ‘discourse of inevitability’ as well as investigating the historical
connections and future visions of Arctic narratives. Such research would increase knowledge on
alternative regional futures/scenarios, in contrast to constructed visions by and for Arctic
stakeholders. Furthermore, the dire need to re-evaluate and revise existing methodologies, theories
and approaches to the Arctic was exhaustively elaborated by expert participants reacting to the idea
of Arctic change as a
. Addressing the rapid changes taking place in the region calls for both
new theoretical and conceptual tools within the field of IR as well as an emphasis on inter- and trans-
disciplinary research projects.
Inclusive & Open Dialogue
In addition to the potential research themes brought up by the week-long discussions, participants
also engaged on the role(s) and impact(s) of political sciences in the world of policy-making. The
debates involved twofold views. On the one hand, research was seen as a crucial step forward in
terms of improving the implementation and efficiency processes of policies; on the other, critical
approaches were also seen as to have a valuable (but often underestimated or misunderstood) role in
questioning the basis and projected outcomes of political decisions and developments in the Arctic.
Nevertheless, both of these differing viewpoints highlight the guiding principle behind the Calotte
Academy – dialogue is not only essential between researchers and within the scientific community,
but equally importantly with (regional) policy-makers and northern societies.