Thematic Network on Geopolitics and Security

To learn more, visit the Arctic Politics web page.


The two detailed focus areas of this TN are: first, studies on ‘Geopolitics’; for example, how geopolitics is present / implemented in the circumpolar North; what might mean indigenous point(s) of view of geopolitics; and what might be among key indicators of the geopolitics in a changing North; and second, studies on ‘Security’; for example, how different discourses on security are implemented in the North; what are special features of Northern security; and what kind of security factor climate change is.

The aim of the Thematic Network on Geopolitics and Security is to combine the two focus areas – Studies on Geopolitics, and Security Studies -, and based on that to draw up a holistic picture on Arctic geopolitics and Northern security as well as to identify and analyze major changes of them.

Another aim is to promote ’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).


Among planned activities are first, to run annual workshops for the members of the TN as well as for PhD students on political sciences back-to-back to international conferences and seminars, such as NRF Open Assemblies and Calotte Academy; second, to implement the interplay between research and teaching, between senior and young researchers and between science and politics; third, to act as a joint platform for discussion on these matters in general and particularly between the NRF and the UArctic; and final, to launch and run an international research project on the themes.

To implement the aims and long-term purposes, as well as to promote interdisciplinary discourse on the two focus areas, the TN on Geopolitics and Security

  • Publishes annually The Arctic Yearbook - the first yearbook was published in 2012. all published Arctic Yearbooks can be found here;
  • The TN acts as a joint platform for discussion on (Arctic) geopolitics and (Northern) security in general, and particularly between the NRF and the UArctic and its Thematic Networks. The TN also implements the interplay between science and politics, and between senior and young researchers;
  • Takes initiatives for and coordinates, supports and runs, international research and book projects on IR, geopolitics and security studies;
  • High Altitudes Meet High Latitudes: Globalizing Polar Issues conference (September 11–12, Valais, Switzerland) with four Round-table discussions on Security and Risk management (by Lassi Heininen), Arctic Resources (by Matthias Finger), Infrastructures (by Ksenia Tatarchenko), and Awareness (by Marina Kalinina), organized by Swiss Polar Institute in cooperation with several organizations including the GlobalArctic Project and UArctic;
  • 5th Arctic Circle Assembly (October 13–15, Reykjavík), the Thematic Network will propose a panel on Arctic Security with 2-3 sessions and that on the GlobalArctic with 2-3 sessions;
  • Rovaniemi Arctic Spirit conference (October 14–16, Rovaniemi, Finland) in conjunction with the Polar Law Symposium;
  • Model Arctic Council, an international simulation of the meetings of the AC (October 24-26, Oulu):
  • International workshop on the Global Arctic (early December, Lisbon, Portugal) organized by University of Lisbon, and Mario Pontes and Sandra Balao (tbc).

Activities for 2018 (tentative)

  • ISAR-5 The changing Arctic and its regional to global impact: From information to knowledge and action (January 15-18, Tokyo) organized by Japan Consortium for Arctic Environmental Research and National Institute of Polar Research, incl. the regular sessions of Policies and economy; and Social and cultural dimensions.
  • The Calotte Academy 2018: Discourses on the Arctic - (inter)disciplinary theories and methods of Arctic research

Other Information

Lassi Heininen, Lead of the UArctic Thematic Network on Geopolitics and Security