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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

The United States in the 21 century Arctic

This project will examine US policies towards the Arctic region, with special attention to the European High North. Until 1990 the High North played an important role in the geopolitics of the United States, but American interests in the region fell steeply after the end of the Cold War. However, this may change. The US National Security Council is now preparing a review of US policy in the Arctic. That might lead to a reappraisal of US interests in the region. At least in a short and medium term perspective, we might assume that US ambitions to contain the resurgent Russia will be the most decisive factor in shaping US geopolitics of the Arctic in general, and the European High North in particular.

US relations with NATO are crucial, especially from a European and a Norwegian point of view. Seeing US interests in the High North within US global strategic assessments form the background for understanding US policies in the region. However, after the end of the Cold War, the scholarly interest for US strategic interests in the High North has been limited. Thus, there is a need for new studies, taking recent developments into account. The following main research problems will be addressed:

  • What are the interests of the United States in the Arctic, and how will they change as the area becomes more accessible for economic exploitation and transport?
  • What are potential meeting-points and areas of cooperation between the United States, Norway and other nations in the High North?
  • Are there areas for more extensive cooperation?
  • Are there areas of potential conflict?
  • How does the United States view the High North within a global strategic security framework?
  • How does the United States view the significance of multilateral security cooperation in the region, especially with respect to NATO, and, in this connection, Norway?
  • To what extent can we expect major changes in US policy on these issues in the future?


©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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