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Looking North of Vienna: The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe as a Facilitator of Arctic Security

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Though the Arctic is known as a region of peace, military activity and militarization continue to influence it. The literature on Arctic security asserts that no international organization exists that can deal with military issues in the region. This article challenges this assertion by arguing that the OSCE is the perfect organization to coordinate Arctic security because of its initial purpose of facilitating NATO-Russia relations in Europe, which is precisely the same relationship that requires coordination in the Arctic today. Given that all eight Arctic states are members, the OSCE is almost a pre-existing security organization for the Arctic. The article examines the security environment in the Arctic, the current institutional regime and the origins of the OSCE. Furthermore, it explores OSCE CSBMs as empirical examples of how the OSCE already builds military predictability in the Arctic.

Affiliations: 1: Undergraduate student in the B.A. Honours Programme in Political Science and International Relations, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada,


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