A Changing Arctic

The Arctic region has gained increased public, political, commercial and academic interest over the last decade. High-energy prices and technological advances have made it possible, if not yet commercially attractive, to exploit petroleum resources in the area. Climate change and the retraction of the polar ice have opened new sea transportation routes, considerably shortening the distance from Europe and North America to parts of Asia. The demand for high-quality white fish from the Barents Sea is steadily rising on international markets. States, international organizations and private interests, including emerging economies in Asia, now show a keen interest in the High North and the Arctic at large.

NOTE: The scholarship application deadline is 1 February, 2019. All self-financed applicants may apply by 1 March, 2019.

The students will learn about the geography and geology of the present day Arctic region and discuss possible scenarios of its geological evolution, including the formation of mineral resources. In this context, we will review the knowledge about the Arctic climate, and how its variations in the past allowed the formation of completely different vegetation and fauna. The legal component will address issues related to jurisdiction, sovereignty and human rights whereas geopolitics is about the interplay of natural resources, strategic dominance and geographic space on the one hand, and the various state and non-state actors pursuing individual as well as collective interests on the other.

This course aims, firstly, to enhance knowledge and understanding of the Arctic natural habitat, including its changes over time and plausible future trajectories, and to increase awareness about how those changes affect legal developments, political tensions, and international governance challenges. Secondly, students will learn about the uncertainties in scientific data and models and will be trained in the use of analytical tools and models that help to describe and diagnose governance challenges and to identify and assess response options. The course also provides understanding of international law rules governing the Arctic region, with particular focus on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Course details

Academic level(s)Master, Other
Language of instructionEnglish
InstitutionUniversity of Oslo
Begin date22.06.2019
End date02.08.2019
Registration deadline01.02.2019
ECTS credits15.0
Field schoolYes
Fields of studyBasic/broad, general programmes
Teaching placeOslo, Norway
Tagsfield schoolsummer school
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