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Between Militarization and Disarmament: Challenges for Arctic Security in the Twenty-First Century

  • Heather Exner-Pirot
Chapter

Abstract

The period of regionalization that the Arctic has enjoyed since Gorbachev’s famous Murmansk Speech in 1987 has brought stability and peace. Ironically, however, it has not led to disarmament, despite the initial premise of developing the Arctic region into a ‘Zone of Peace’, with an Arctic Council focused on demilitarization and arms control issues. Why have issues of militarization fallen so far off the Arctic states’ political agenda? This chapter will provide an historical overview of disarmament and demilitarization discussions in the Arctic, including coordination around cleaning up nuclear and radioactive waste. It will then turn to more contemporary issues around militarization: the threat of an arms race in the region, an absence of fora to discuss issues of military security; and the geopolitical dynamics, especially concerning Russia, that make Arctic demilitarization efforts so challenging. The chapter will conclude with an assessment of the short and long-term security trends in the region and strategies for more explicit peace-building, including demilitarization.

Keywords

Arctic Disarmament Militarization Confidence-building 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heather Exner-Pirot
    • 1
  1. 1.Observatoire de la politique et la sécurité de l’Arctique at CIRRICQQuebecCanada

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