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Research Topics

Actors and patterns of cooperation and conflict
Russia, Norway and the High North - Past, Present, Future
The United States in the 21 Century Arctic
Defining an Interest: The European Union and the High North
The Power of Energy
Law of the Sea and Ocean Governance
Climate Change and Environmental Protection

Russia, Norway and the High North - past, present, future

"Russia, Norway and the High North - Past, Present, Future" is one of eight research topics in the Geopolitics in the High North programme. The Work Package will explore Russian interests in the High North and relations with Norway with particular attention to identifying trends of continuity as well as new traits.

In the  European High North, Russia is by far the largest state and a crucial player. In recent years Russia has beomce more stable and has experienced fast economic growth due to high energy prices. Russia appears with renewed self-assertiveness on the international stage. Relations between Russia and Western powers – particularly the United States and Britain – have become more strained. At the same time, Norway has so far managed to keep a good and fruitful relationship with its eastern neighbour. For Norwegian decision-makers, understanding the rationale of Russian past, present and future policies is of crucial importance. 
Russia is changing rapidly as a result of complex interaction of economic, political, socio-cultural and technological forces, both from within and out-side the coutry. The only certainty is that relations between Norway and Russia in the High North will to a large degree depend on how Russia develops internally. To shed some more light on future perspectives, a driving force analysis will be conducted and implications for Russo-Norwegian relations will be drawn.

The "Russia, Norway and the High North - past, present, future" work package will include the following major projects:
  • A  broad  synthesising monograph on Ru ssian-No rwegian relations, 1917–2014, with particular focus on High North ques tions within a geopolitical context. The project will look at issues like the evolution of Russian High North policies, including jurisdictional issues in the Barents Sea; Russian discourse on the c ountry’s in tere sts vis-à-vis Norwa y; Russian perceptions of Norwegian foreign and security policies in general and High North policies in particular; the role  of various Russian actors, including the evolution of the role of non-state actors.
  • A comprehensive survey will be conducted of contempo  rary Russian Hig  h North policies in a geopolitical perspective, with focus on the   interaction betw een the utilisation of natural resources and the evolution of Russian military and security structures in the area. This part of the project will result in a post-doctoral project, and a number of articles in listed journals.

A central interest for Norway has been to handle relations with Russia successfully - keeping a good relationship, while at the same time avoding potential pitfalls. During the later years, Norway has also tried energetically to engage Russia in a positive sense in as many arenas as possible. Apart from the general aim of building a robust relationship, this engagement policy also has a quite substantial economic dimension – there is a great potential for Norwegian companies on the expanding Russian markets.

©2014-2017 Geopolitics in the High North. All rights reserved

Norwegian Institute for defence Studies CSIS Fritjof Nansen Institute Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik University of Tromsø Moscow State Institute of International Relations (University) of the MFA of Russia University of Oslo Institute of general history Norwegian Defence Research Establishment Econ Pöyry
  The GeoPolitics in the High North research programme is now terminated, and the programme website will be preserved through 2016, but not updated.
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