Minori Takahashi, Shinji Kawana, Kousuke Saitou, Yu Koizumi, Shino Hateruma & Ayae Shimizu

In this paper, in order to shed light on some of the factors behind the change in the security environment in the Arctic region, we examine the history and the points of dispute concerning military bases, by taking up the US military base in Greenland (Thule Air Base) as the case study. We incorporate as explanatory variables the politics of the host country, i.e., the relationship between the local political actor of Greenland and the Danish central government,and the politics of the base provider (the United States) and Russia, which is intensifying its military activities in the Arctic region. Concretely, we first clarify the scope of the paper by pointing to the bargaining between central governments and local political actors about military bases - to the elements that constitute the vulnerability of central governments (the substitutability, urgency and specificity of bases), the form of bargaining that brings it under control (integration, institutionalization, distribution), and its balance with the effect of hold-up by local political actors wishing to reverse the asymmetrical power relationship. We then examine the validity of that approach through an actual case: the bargaining regarding the inclusion of Thule Air Base into the US missile defense shield.

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