Cooperation In The Arctic And The Cold War

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For centuries the Arctic Ocean has been famed for its inaccessibility, but with unprecedented ice retreats in recent years as a result of global warming, the Arctic Ocean is becoming rapidly accessible. This means new possibilities for the Arctic countries in terms of trade, travel, and access resources. These recent changes in the topography have led many to portray the Arctic as a geopolitical race for natural resources and territory, with Russia seen as the main aggressor. Russia is depicted as a militarized and expansionist country trying to push its way into the Arctic aggressively to gain control of territory and therefore of energy resources like oil and gas. This paper will argue that this is not the case, the Arctic is not becoming …show more content…
Theory is a powerful tool for breaking down and understanding the world around us, it provides us with a framework to perceive the events in the realm of politics. In this paper, we will look at the Arctic through the lenses of the liberalist, realist and neoliberals schools of thought in International Relations. The liberalist view argues that there is cooperation in the Arctic because the countries are interdependent. The realist view holds that power politics drives the interaction amongst states, stressing the competitive and conflictual side of Arctic relations. On the other hand, Neoliberalism recognizes the existence of an anarchic system but highlights all the cooperative behavior possible. The most consistent with the reality in the Arctic is the theory of Neoliberalism, which is especially helpful in explaining Russia’s behavior of cooperation whilst increasing its military capabilities in the …show more content…
This is sustained by professor Indra Øverland in his paper “Russia’s Arctic Energy Policy.” He argues that Russia’s efforts for cooperation tend to be overlooked by Western coverage, which pushes its own conflictual narrative of the Arctic. On the previously mentioned case of Chilingarov and his claim for the Arctic, the West fails to mention that its common practice for explorers to plant their national flags after a big accomplishment and that Chilingarov was not officially representing the Russian government, it was a private affair. He most likely did it for his own political gain as he was looking to get elected to the Russian Duma again. It’s also overlooked that Norway has done something similar in January 2008. Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg went on an expedition to the Arctic and stopped on drowning Mud Island and emphasized how it rightfully belonged to Norway, even though many countries argue it is not. Just like Chilingarov, Stoltenberg went on national television and used the opportunity as a political promotion for his own benefit. They both used these occasions to promote themselves to a domestic audience; they were not necessarily representing their countries international

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