Pauline Pic & Frédéric Lasserre

This work focuses on the governance of the Arctic, through the prism of security, by analyzing arctic strategies and security policies from coastal countries around the Arctic Ocean in order to understand how they apprehend the changing Arctic. A series of interviews conducted in Norway and Canada in the Winter and Spring of 2019 complete this discourse analysis. In this exploratory work part of an ongoing research, we explore the Arctic dimension of Arctic security discourses. Since 2007,the label of Arctic security is more and more used, as a symptom that global geopolitics have reached the Arctic and that the age of exceptionalism is over. We want to question processes behind this label, trying to identify what could be specifically Arctic about Arctic security, in the changing contemporary context. This paper broadly delineates the security system at play in the Arctic today (1) through an analysis of the actor network at play and the definitions of security put forward in Arctic strategies, with a focus on the coastal states around the Arctic Ocean. It then questions current developments within this system (2), to question the scale of ‘Arctic Security’ and how it faces external powers getting more and more interested in the region.

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