Handbook of the Politics of the Arctic
Show Less

Handbook of the Politics of the Arctic

Edited by Leif Christian Jensen and Geir Hønneland

The Arctic has again become one of the leading issues on the international foreign policy agenda, in a manner unseen since the Cold War. Drawing on the perspectives of geo-politics and international law, this Handbook offers fresh insights and perspectives on the most pressing issues, grouped under the headings of political ascendancy, climate and environmental issues, resources and energy, and the response and policies of affected countries.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 18: From Ilulissat to Kiruna: managing the Arctic Council and the contemporary geopolitics of the Arctic

Klaus Dodds


In May 2013, a ministerial meeting of the Arctic Council was held in the northern Swedish city of Kiruna, famed as an iron-ore producing centre. The meeting itself was caught up in a spell of bad weather, including icy fog which disrupted delegates’ travel plans. More significantly, perhaps, the meeting itself was also the site of protest from environmental activists (such as Greenpeace) demanding that the Arctic be ‘saved’ from further mineral-based exploitation as well as indigenous, mainly Swedish, Sami protesting against the impact of mining on reindeer-herding communities. Furthermore, Aleqa Hammond, then Premier of Greenland, refused to attend because the Swedish hosts were unwilling to offer three chairs to Denmark around the main table in the public building which was to host the meetings. During the Swedish Chairmanship (2011–2013), the Kingdom of Denmark was represented by its three constituent parts: Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands. In fact, that ministerial meeting was not really intended to be one dominated by mining and the politics of seats at the tables. At stake, as most international commentators with an interest in the Arctic noted, was the issue of observers (Steinberg and Dodds 2015). Would the Arctic Council admit either the entire list of candidates (six states, one regional organization and seven organizations) or a select group to be determined during the meeting?

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.