The Thematic Network on Geopolitics and Security


The Thematic Network (TN) on Geopolitics and Security is a joint network by the University of the Arctic and the Northern Research Forum (NRF), and was established and approved in 2009. The TN consists of an international group of members with diverse backgrounds and expertise. The Networks main aim is to combine the two focus areas Studies on Geopolitics and Security Studies. Based on that, the TN aims to draw up a holistic picture on Arctic geopolitics and Northern security, as well as to identify and analyse the major changes of them. The TN is dedicated at promoting ’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 defence 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

Main goals

The main goals of the TN are to promote interdisciplinary discourse as well as academic and policy-oriented dialogue of various stakeholders on the two focus areas Geopolitics and Security. The TN implements its goals by the means of:

  • Making initiatives for, as well as to coordinate, support, and run international research projects on International Relations, Geopolitics, and Security studies.
  • To regularly publish academic books as well as an open access journal. Since 2012, the TN annually publishes The Arctic Yearbook (see website).
  • Organizing panels at international conferences, doctoral schools as well as arranging own workshops and brainstorming meetings, back-to-back to international conferences. For example, the TN organizes panels on Security in the Arctic at the annual Arctic Circle Assembly, and (co-)organises the annual international travelling symposium and doctoral school Calotte Academy.

For more information on the TN and its activities, please see the TN’s website at ArcticPolitics.

Text: Gerald Zojer, University of Lapland

Fishing trawlers in Kirkenes harbor. Credit: Gerald Zojer.

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