The Thematic Network (TN) on Geopolitics and Security, established and approved in 2009, is a joint network by the University of the Arctic and the Northern Research Forum (NRF).
The main aim is to combine the two focus areas — Studies on Geopolitics, and Security Studies — and, based on that, to draw up a holistic picture on Arctic geopolitics and Northern security, as well as to identify and analyze the major changes of them. Another aim is to promote ’interdisciplinarity’, to implement the interplay between research and teaching as well as the discussion between young and senior scholars, and to promote the interplay between science and politics, and that between scientific and traditional knowledge(s).
Research interests and themes
In the context of this Thematic Network ‘Geopolitics’ include issues, such as “How geopolitics is present, and implemented today in the Arctic, in general and in national strategies and policies”; “Changes in the Arctic, and major forces / drivers behind them”; Indigenous point(s) of view of Geopolitics?”; “What is the importance and role of TNCs, and that of SOEs in the Arctic?; “The globalized Arctic in world politics and the global economy?”. Correspondingly, studies on ‘Security’ include issues, such as “Who are subjects of (Arctic) security?”; “Military strategies and defense policies in, and impacts of regional crises on, security of the Arctic”; ”Environmental and Human Security in the Arctic”; ”Resource extraction, the global economy, national interests, climate change and global governance – a new Arctic (security) nexus or Arctic Paradox”.
To implement the aims and long-term purposes, as well as to promote interdisciplinary discourse on the two focus areas, the TN on Geopolitics and Security:
Firstly, publishes annually The Arctic Yearbook - the first (2012) Arctic Yearbook was launched in November 2012 (see: www.arcticyearbook.com);
Secondly, organizes the panel Security in the Arctic at the annual Arctic Circle Assembly (in Reykjavik, Iceland); co-organizes the annual international traveling symposium and doctoral school, Calotte Academy (Inari, Finland, Kirkenes, Norway, Apatity, Russia and Kiruna, Sweden); and organizes annually 2-3 its own workshops / brainstorming meetings back-to-back to international conferences;
Thirdly, makes initiatives for, as well as coordinates, supports and runs, international research and book projects on IR, Geopolitics and Security studies, such as “The Arctic – a region of strategies and policies. Avoiding a new Cold War” (2012-2013) funded by the Valdai Discussion Club (see: Final Report at www.valdaiclöub.com); “The Global Arctic”, an international expert network and project, in cooperation with the NRF; a book project “Handbook of the GlobalArctic”.
Leader of the TN:
Professor Lassi Heininen, University of Lapland, Finland
Co-coordinators of the TN:
PhD candidate Jussi Huotari, University of Helsinki, Finland
PhD Candidate Andrian Vlakhov, European University at St. Petersburg, Russia