01.03.2020 12:11

Cooperation in the Arctic from the constructivists' perspective

Cooperation in the Arctic from the constructivists' perspective

Recently we have been witnessing more formalized cooperation in the Arctic. The Arctic Council, which has mainly worked through a monitoring mandate with recommendations rather than decisions or strong agreements, got its two first legally binding agreements and the permanent secretariat was established in Troms0. The states orderly comply with the recommendations of The United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. The Ilulissat declaration affirms the intention of the five Arctic coastal states to collaborate regarding issues relating to the Arctic Ocean, in particular regarding continental shelf delimitation.

This trend does not fully correspond to the realist thinking normally applied to the regions development. That is why constructivist's perspective based on a notion that states operate in a social context with its focus on perceptions is used to understand the nature of relations. The focus lies on the «culture» of cooperation elaborated by Alexander Wendt. Wendt points out three types of culture: Hobbesian, Lockean and Kantian.

On the basis of arctic strategies analysis it can be concluded that there is not one single culture represented in the Arctic cooperation. Rather it is a combination of Lockean and Kantian cultures, where relations can be seen as layered both between actors but also between the issues at hand. All the countries demonstrate arctic identity and affiliation to it while some are still struggling to claim their role and right to be an actor in the Arctic, by giving examples of why it is and should be a legitimate actor. (Sweden and Finland).The strong unity is presently lacking, when looking at the group of Arctic states as a whole. There are no Hobbesian traits in any of the policies and even though there is «we» and «them» division in the language show Lockean traits, in terms of rivals for political influence and natural resources. The Lockean traits are numerous in the Arctic policies, where the sense of rule of law is prominent and conflicts are not immediately resolved by violence. Active persuasion language illustrates an attempt to socialize other actors into cooperation on friendly terms in the Arctic. All the states emphasize the importance to protect sovereignty and the need for security measures in the region, implying that there is a fear that other actors might act in aggressive means regarding the protection of their sovereignty. There is a fear of exclusion of some states (Finland, Iceland and Sweden) In terms of a Kantian culture there are traces to be found in particular for the relations between the Nordic states. The friendship between the Nordic states which is highlighted by 'we', sense of solidarity which is typical for a Kantian culture and this solidarity is only directed towards other Nordic states.

To conclude, there is still rivalry between the actors, even though most prominently this rivalry regards resources, science and which country is the best model for development. The relations in the Arctic are unlikely to develop into violent conflict based on the language in the policies studied. If Arctic cooperation is managed in accordance with the policies there will be an orderly situation in the Arctic region, which will not implicate wider international conflicts or military involvement. On the contrary it may strengthen international law adherence and facilitate further cooperation in the region.

М. А. Машин

Cooperation in the Arctic from the constructivists' perspective

Опубликовано 01.03.2020 12:11 | Просмотров: 53 | Блог » RSS


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