International Cooperation in the Arctic 2035 – The Four Scenarios

Academic chapter
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The Arctic
Written by

Roman Vakulchuk

Senior Research Fellow, Head of Research group on climate and energy



The Arctic has always fascinated people; its history, its present, and its future. The future of the Arctic has increasingly become a subject of academic research and the application of scenario methodology. Scenarios can be defined as pro- spective storytelling (Schoemaker, 1993), presenting a set of plausible, contrasting images of the future (Schatzmann et al., 2013), and indicating what alternative futures might look like (Amer et al., 2013). Studies offering scenarios of future development of the Arctic include Brigham (2007), Myllylä et al. (2016), Lazariva et al. (2021), Petrov et al. (2021), Haavisto et al. (2016), and Bourmistrov et al. (2015); see also the chapter by Krivorotov in this volume. The farther we look ahead, the more uncertain the future appears. There can never be full consensus on what major trends and driving forces will have the greatest impact on the future. But precisely for this reason, any kind of structured thought experiment, such as scenario development, is valuable and can add new knowledge and shared understanding.