Can cooperative Russian and Western Arctic policies survive the current crisis in Russian-Western relations? (CANARCT)

2016 - 2019 (Completed) Project number: 257638/H30
Research Project
This project addresses Russia's Arctic policy provisions compared with other states. Can cooperative Russian and Western Arctic policies survive the current crisis in Russian-Western relations?

Is Russia's Arctic policy developing in a more confrontational direction? Or will it remain conducive to constructive cooperation with other states in the region, thus preserving the Arctic as a distinct policy field?

We hypothesize three potential and distinct modes of policy-making that may result in different Russian approaches to the Arctic: a "realist mode" centred on security and distribution of power, an "institutionalist mode" centred on preserving cooperation within established institutional regimes, and a "diplomatic management mode" also centred on security interests, but characterized by cautious adjustment of courses of action within different policy and geographical areas.

This project traces the changing weight of these modes in the Russian debate on the Arctic, as well as how these modes condition Russian policies in and on the region. Our analytical point of departure is that Russian Arctic policy must be understood as a product of a dynamic "two-level game" between domestic and international factors.

On the one hand, official policies are shaped by domestic actors and institutions that protect and project various views and interests, and are therefore subject to negotiation on the domestic arena. On the other hand, a state's security policies and relations are not formulated in isolation from the policies of other states. If the Arctic comes to be viewed also by Western Arctic powers as primarily an arena for state-contestation and security, that will play into and shape Russian policies. In line with these assumptions, the project will complement the study of how Russian Arctic policy is produced with supplementary case studies of the Arctic policies of two of Russia's Western Arctic partners, Norway and the USA.

Watch the Russia Conference 2018, summing up results from the project:




The following seminars have been organized as part of this project outside NUPI:



Follow CANARCT updates on Twitter:

Publications by external project contributors:

See an overview of NUPI's work on the Arctic and Russia and Eurasia here and here.

Funding program

NORRUSS

Articles

News
Bildet viser utenriksminister ine Eriksen Søreide

The Russia Conference: Cold Peace in the Arctic?

September 14, 2018

On September 14, NUPI’s Russia Conference took place in Oslo. Couldn’t be there? Watch the entire event, including Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide's key note speech, on YouTube.

Publications

Publication : Academic article

Governing the Arctic: The Russian State Commission for Arctic Development and the Forging of a New Domestic Arctic Policy Agenda

2019
After a period of relative neglect in the 1990s and early 2000s, the Arctic is back on the agenda of the Russian authorities. To ensure efficient coordination ...
Publication : ARTIKKEL

Norway and Russia in the Arctic: New Cold War Contamination?

2018
The standoff between Russia and the West over Ukraine has already obstructed cooperation across a range of issues. Could it also affect state interaction ...
Publication : NUPI Policy Brief

How the New Cold War travelled North (Part I) Norwegian and Russian narratives

2018
The standoff between Russia and the West over Ukraine has already obstructed cooperation across a range of issues. Could it also affect state interaction ...
Publication : NUPI Policy Brief

How the New Cold War travelled North (Part II) Interaction between Norway and Russia

2018
This policy brief examines changing Russian and Norwegian approaches to each other in the period 2012–2016, and discusses how the “New Cold War” spread ...

Project Manager

Themes
Diplomacy  NATO  Foreign policy  International organizations  The EU  Russia and Eurasia  Europe  The Arctic  Security policy
Participants

Helge Blakkisrud

Senior Research Fellow (part time)

 

External

Pavel K. Baev, Peace Research Institute in Oslo (PRIO), Norway. See also Baev's blog.

Aleksander Sergunin, St. Petersburg State University, Russia

Heather Conley, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), USA

Events
Thu 13 Sept 2018
Event
Time: 10:30 Europe/Oslo
Location: The House of Literature, Oslo

The Russia Conference 2018: Cold peace in the Arctic?

How does the conflict between Russia and the West affect the situation in the Arctic? Join us at NUPI’s annual Russia Conference on 14 September to find out.

Thu 9 Jun 2016
Event
Time: 13:00 Europe/Oslo
Location: NUPI

Russia and the future of Arctic cooperation

The seminar will present the new NUPI project CANARCT – Can cooperative Russian and Western Arctic policies survive the current crisis in Russian-Western relations?