New threats in the Arctic: Climate change and security risk management of increasing maritime activity in the Arctic

The course will focus on investigating and assessing possibilities of transborder security risk management and partnership building in the Arctic among the Arctic states and between the Arctic states and states outside the Arctic that recently gained access to the Arctic Council activities as observer states.

Climate change and global warming results in melting ice in the Arctic, both the Greenland ice sheets, glaciers and sea ice. This is often articulated as opening up opportunities of natural resource extraction and new shipping routes in the Arctic, that will result in increased maritime activities and societal changes. However, together with these opportunities come also the challenges of increased maritime activities that can result in several types of risks in the Arctic - such as risks of pollution and risks of accidents, which generate a need for prevention, preparedness and response in case of oil spill response (OSR) and search and rescue (SAR) operations and institutions in the Arctic. Since the Arctic is such a huge territory with a relatively small number of dispersed stakeholders, there is an increasing need for domestic and transnational cooperation among the Arctic communities and states to prevent conflicts and develop further cooperation.


1) Introduction to the course and literatures

2) The Arctic – History of society, politics and geopolitics

3) Climate Change and societal impacts

4) Security and risk management

5) Geopolitics: Conflict or cooperation

6) Governance: The Arctic between local and global concerns


This course is part of the educational offerings of the UArctic Thematic Network on Arctic Safety and Security.

Course details

Academic level(s)Bachelor,Master
Language of instruction
InstitutionUniversity of Copenhagen
Begin date-
End date-
Registration deadline-
ECTS credits0.0
Field schoolNo
Fields of studyPolitical science and civics
Teaching place
Tagssecurityrisk management
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