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Arctic Security – Global Dimensions and Challenges, and National Policy Responses

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AbstractStability and decrease of military tension are relevant in the new Northern order which replaced the confrontation of the Cold War period. This was a conscious choice by the Arctic states. In the international system with constant regional wars and the fight against terrorism this is an achievement – it would be possible to have another kind of order. In the 2010s this order is in a test, when the Arctic and its natural resources, as well as options to them, have become a target of growing global interest. The ongoing multifunctional change and geopolitical shift from a periphery into global has also meant changes in Arctic security environment and governance: Stability is not threatened by the military presence and the deployed nuclear weapon systems but more by rapid climate change and its environmental and socio-economic impacts. Everyday security of the people is threatened. Energy security has become a new discourse of Northern security. The strategic position of the region’s natural resources may create new tension, and economic and political competition. Followed from this, and concentrating on Arctic security, there are new dimensions and challenges, which require new and more global political responses. This article opens with a brief, theoretical discussion on how security is (re)defined, and how different security concepts are implemented. Second, it describes and defines a state of Arctic security by using three methods. Finally, the article studies and discusses national strategies and policies of the Arctic states regarding how they (re)define security and respond to the global and regional security challenges.

Affiliations: 1: University of LaplandFinlandUniversity of OuluUniversity of


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