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Iceland: A Small Arctic State Facing Big Arctic Changes

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AbstractIceland is one of eight member states of the Arctic Council and claims to be the only sovereign state that is entirely located in the Arctic. Therefore, it should not come as a surprise that the region has gained a priority status in Iceland’s foreign policy. The developments in the Arctic will inevitably affect the country in one way or the other. This paper is divided into three sections; the first one discusses recent internal and external developments. The second section is about three different aspects of security, traditional, human and environmental, and furthermore, discusses those types of security in Icelandic context. The last section is on Iceland’s priorities in the Arctic, which are then measured against Lassi Heininen’s policy fields or indicators, and Arctic solutions presented by Alyson Bailes. Main conclusions are that even though Iceland has been going through challenging times in the resent years, the Arctic still remains somewhat a priority area, policy wise, and the Icelandic priorities, for the most part, fit within the frameworks of Arctic solutions and the policy fields they are measured against.

Affiliations: 1: University of LaplandFinland


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