Arctic Pressures (ArcPres)

2022 - 2025 (Ongoing) Project number: 23720-1
Research project
Russia’s reinvasion of Ukraine in 2022 precipitated a challenging new chapter for Arctic political and security dynamics. Going forward, security and governance developments in the region will continue to be marked by events and developments outside the region and how the other Arctic states and their allies and Russia translate extra-regional events to circumpolar politics.

There also remain longstanding global trends that continue to shape the premises for Arctic governance and security, such as climate change and developments in global regimes. The ArcPres project aims to analyze interplay across these novel and long-term drivers and the regional dynamics of rivalry and cooperation. This synthesizing approach is needed to ensure that interactions between policy fields relevant to the Arctic are considered. Our core research foci will be on empirical studies of factors that are not well-covered by existing research programmes due to their novelty, recent enhanced importance or cross-sector nature. These include: 

  • developments internal to Russia (changing Arctic politics, changing networks of actors developing Arctic relevant policies). 
  • Russia-China bilateral relations and developments of relevance to the Arctic from science cooperation to the high political level, with a focus on how these relations are affected by the war and Russia/West relations. 
  • developments of relevance to Arctic governance in broader global regimes (climate, ocean governance).
  • developments in Arctic security (including soft security issues, such as misinformation, and interplay between Western responses to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and security dynamics in the Arctic). 
  • developments in alliance politics developments in science-policy networks focused on Arctic governance (amongst the “like-minded” Arctic states, in Indigenous peoples’ organizations and networks and vis-a-vis Russia in Arctic policy and research fields). 

To further integrate across project outputs and existing scholarship, the ArcPres team will also incorporate and consider the high likelihood of impacts of extra-regional events and developments through scenario-building exercises. These scenario workshops will be small to facilitate dialogue, but are open to stakeholders, researchers and practitioners beyond the project team. Interest in participating in ArcPres scenario workshops is welcome and can be directed to the project leader.

Funding program

The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Project Manager

Security policy  Climate  Diplomacy  Foreign policy  International organizations  Oceans  Russia and Eurasia  Europe  North America  The Nordic countries

Julie Wilhelmsen

Research Professor, Head of the Research group on Russia, Asia and International Trade


  • Kari, Myklebost, University of Tromsø 
  • Rauna, Kuokkanen, University of Lapland 
  • Jennifer, Spence, Harvard Kennedy School 
  • Pia, Hansson, University of Iceland 
  • Mathieu, Landriault, Observatoire de la politique et la sécurité de l’Arctique (OPSA),