Handbook of Governance and Security
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Handbook of Governance and Security

Edited by James Sperling

The Handbook of Governance and Security examines the conceptual evolution of security governance and the different manifestations of regional security governance. In particular, James Sperling brings together unique contributions from leading scholars to explore the role of institutions that have emerged as critical suppliers of security governance and the ever-widening set of security issues that can be viewed profitably through a governance lens.
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Chapter 7: Arctic

Andrew Chater and Wilfrid Greaves


The circumpolar Arctic is undergoing fundamental transformation. The region is in the midst of a period of rapid political, economic, social and ecological change unprecedented in modern times. As a geopolitically important region of the globe that is nevertheless demographically small and institutionally underdeveloped, the Arctic is implicated at the heart of a range of questions surrounding the concept of ‘security’ in the early twenty-first century. Given the Arctic’s particular history, the unique configuration of factors and actors that constitute it as a discrete region, and its growing relevance to the security interests of both circumpolar and non-polar states, the issue of ‘security’ in the Arctic is a contested and evolving concept. This chapter surveys a range of issues intimately linked to security in the Arctic, its practice, its contestation and its transformation. How is security in the Arctic governed? What are the pathologies of in/security within and across the bounds of the Arctic region? Given the widespread transformation of the Arctic as a result of climate change, what current challenges confront the structures of Arctic regional security governance? This chapter first defines the Arctic as a regional security complex (RSC), albeit an unusual one as a result of the ongoing legacy of the Cold War, superpower rivalry and Great Power competition.

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