Introduction: The Influence of Sub-state Actors on National Security

  • Minori TakahashiEmail author
Part of the Springer Polar Sciences book series (SPPS)


In this volume we shed light on the process in which the sub-state actor of Greenland has strengthened its de jure participation in the national security of Denmark. In doing so, we will take up the U.S. Thule Air Base in Greenland as a case that shows that in the relationship between great powers, small countries and local actors within small countries, it is possible for local actors (sub-national entities) to have an influence on higher-level actors in the field of diplomacy on the national security level. For that purpose, we examine political trends involving Greenland, Denmark, the U.S. and Russia by using the multilateral multi-archive approach. We shall also shed light on how the local voice, i.e., the intention to regulate own actions (self-control) and self-rule that concretely embodies it, appear and function in various political matters pertaining to U.S. military bases at the level of national security, by taking up the cases of Okinawa (Japan) and Olongapo/Subic (the Philippines) as reference axes that provide additional insight into the interaction between the U.S. policy regarding overseas basis and the host countries’ polities.


Sub-state actors National security Autonomism Separatism Greenland/Denmark U.S. military bases 


  1. Ackrén, M. 2014. Greenlandic paradiplomatic relations. In Security and sovereignty in the North Atlantic, 42–61. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  2. Dahl, A. et al. 2014. Northern security and global politics: Nordic-Baltic strategic influence in a post-unipolar world. London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Danish Institute for International Studies. 2005. Danmark under den Kolde Krig.Google Scholar
  4. Gad, U.P. 2016. National identity politics and postcolonial sovereignty games: Greenland, Denmark, and the European Union (Monographs on Greenland). Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press.Google Scholar
  5. Iwasaki, M. 1992. Renpou-shugi to renpou-sei [Federalism and the Federal System]. Administrative Studies Bulletin 27: 141–166.Google Scholar
  6. Kikkawa, G. 2009. Kokusai mondai toshiteno mainoriti [Minorities as an International Issue]. In Japan’s international political science Vol. 2-international politics without borders. Tokyo: Yuhikaku.Google Scholar
  7. Kodate, N. 2014. “Bunri dokuritsu” wo tou sukottorando juumin touhyou: “Kurashimuki” ka “aidentiti” ka [The Scottish Referendum on “Independence”: “Good Living Standard” or “Identity”?]. Synodos. URL=
  8. Kraska, J. 2011. Arctic security in an age of climate change. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Kristensen, K.S. et al. 2018. Greenland and the international politics of a changing arctic: Postcolonial paradiplomacy between high and low politics. London/York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  10. Matsui, Y. 2011. Kokusaihou kara sekai wo miru: Shimin no tame no kokusaihounyuumon [Looking at the world from the perspective of the international law: An introduction to the international law for citizens]. Tokyo: Toshindo.Google Scholar
  11. Miyajima, T. et al. 1988. Gendai yoroppa no chiiki to kokka: Henyou suru cyuushin-syuuhen mondai heno shikaku [Regions and states in contemporary Europe: A perspective on the changing issue of the center-periphery relationship]. Tokyo: Yushindo Kobunsha.Google Scholar
  12. ———. 2007. Chiiki no yoroppa: Tasouka, saihen, saisei [The Europe of regions: Stratification, realignment and revival]. Tokyo: Jinbun-Shoin.Google Scholar
  13. Ozawa, M. et al. 2016. Aisurando, guriinranndo, hokkyoku wo shirutameno 65 shou [Sixty-five chapters for knowing Iceland, Greenland and the Arctic]. Tokyo: Akashi Shoten.Google Scholar
  14. Sun, Z.K. 2004. Kokusaihou ni okeru “jichi” no gainen to sono kinou [The notion and function of “autonomy” in the international law]. Nagoya University Journal of Law and Politics 202: 43–78.Google Scholar
  15. Sørensen, A. 2008. Denmark-Greenland in the twentieth century (Meddelelser om Grønland). Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press.Google Scholar
  16. Takahashi, M. 2013. Jiko ketteiken wo meguru seijigaku: Denmaaku-ryou guriinrando niokeru “taigaiteki jichi” [Politics over self-determination rights for the external self-governance of Greenland, a territory of Denmark]. Tokyo: Akashi Shoten.Google Scholar
  17. Takahashi, M. 2016. The politics of the right to self-determination: Reframing the debate on Greenland’s autonomy. Eurasia Border Review 6 (1): 25–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Takenaka, C. 2007. Shuen kara no kokusai seiji [International politics as seen from the periphery]. International Politics 149: 2–3.Google Scholar
  19. Tamnes, R. et al. 2014. Geopolitics and security in the Arctic: Regional dynamics in a global world. London/New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Villaume, P. 1995. Thule og den danske selvforståelse. Udenrigs 50 (3): 29–36.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Slavic-Eurasian Research Center and Arctic Research CenterHokkaido UniversityHokkaidoJapan

Personalised recommendations