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Cooperation Or Conflict In The Arctic?

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Chapter Summary

When the Cold War ended, efforts to develop international institutions and arrangements began in earnest. Of particular note were the creation of the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy (AEPS) and its successor the Arctic Council. However, while these organizations have had some success, most notably the production of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, these efforts have not created a viable multi-lateral Arctic body. Instead, the existing regime can best be thought of as an immature, fragmented and stunted region-system. In all likelihood, this would have remained the circumstance well into the future. This chapter argues that international law is only one of many elements that states utilize to achieve their national interest. They will cooperate when it serves their interests, but they will also be willing to take unilateral actions when it serves their interests. In short it is based on a realist understanding of international relations.

Keywords: Arctic Climate Impact Assessment; Arctic Council; Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy (AEPS); Cold War; international law



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