Arctic Circle 2016
Northern Research Forum (NRF) made a significant contribution to the 4th Arctic Circle Assembly, October 7 – 9, 2016 in Reykjavik, Iceland
The Northern Research Forum Thematic Network (TN) on Geopolitics and Security organized an international academic expert panel on “Security of the Arctic” including three breakout sessions with themes from theorizing security to redefining the new nexus of Arctic security. Security was discussed theoretically and holistically from many angles and disciplinary approaches, as well as in global, national, regional and pan-Arctic contexts. Each session accommodated 4-5 speakers with presentations of approximately 12 minutes each, and in the end of each session there were good discussions (see agenda).
The Northern Research Forum and the GlobalArctic project organized together an international academic expert panel on “The Global Arctic”. Globalization and the globalized Arctic was discussed holistically from many angles and disciplinary approaches. Each session did accommodate 4-5 speakers from all over the Arctic region. Two breakout sessions were held with themes from theorizing and unilateralizing Arctic security and national security and military policies to redefining the new nexus of Arctic security (see agenda).
Furthermore, the third breakout session was held in cooperation with the University of Akureyri and the Iceland Academy of the Arts with themes from Global Arctic which were applied to the art and culture of climate change. The speakers presented in an interactive way the diverse ways in which art and culture, and climate change intersect. There are many cultures of climate change and many ways in which art, culture and climate change are intertwined (see agenda). The session was very well received and the audience participated actively in discussions with the panel after the presentations. The session was recorded and is accessible here.
Additionally, there was a reporting plenary session as a conclusion of the break-out sessions giving a summary of the highlights and innovative findings and suggestions of the discussions. Three experts, who were nominated in the sessions, made a short comment from the following relevant perspectives: global demand for resources and costs of their commercial exploitation; political conditions allowing for this to happen; need to re-conceptualize security nexus / scalar politics of Arctic security, and the new nexus of art, culture and climate change. These were:
- Lassi Heininen, Professor, University of Lapland
- Matthias Finger, Professor, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale Lausanne (EPFL)
- Miyase Christensen, Professor, Stockholm University
- Andrian Vlakhov, Junior Researcher, European University at St. Petersburg
NRF had an information booth, together with the University of Akureyri (UNAK) and other Arctic institutions in the city of Akureyri, collaborating under the umbrella Arctic Akureyri. This arrangement made these actors very visible at the conference.