The new special issue of Nordicum-Mediterraneum 16(2)/2021, led by Dr. Barry Zellen from the Center for Arctic Study and Policy at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, includes a ground-breaking and fresh set of eight new research articles that underwent double blind peer review. This issue focuses on international relations theories and geopolitics, providing analysis of the current state of Arctic geopolitics and the Arctic Council, as well as personal insights regarding the integration of the individual and its perspective in the Arctic.
In this issue, two articles deal with indigenous peoples, geopolitics and international relations: “Geopolitics, Indigenous Peoples, and the Polar Thaw: Sub- and Transnational Fault Lines of the Coming Arctic Cold War” by Dr. Barry Zellen, who highlights the interwoven nature of Arctic indigenous peoples’ empowerment and the interplay of rising great power competition; and “Understanding the Role of Arctic States, Non-Arctic States and Indigenous Peoples in Arctic Affairs Through the Lens of International Relations Theories” by Thomas Viguier, who focuses on understanding each group of power’ stakes in the Arctic from the perspective of international relations and geopolitics.
In addition, two articles tackle the ongoing transformation of Greenland and its challenges: “High Stakes in the High North: Alternative Models for Greenland’s Ongoing Constitutional and Political Transformation” by Dr. Barry Zellen, who provides a deep analysis of alternative tools for Greenland to advance its stakes as a potential future Arctic state; and “The Greenlandic Question: An International Relations Analysis of a Post-Independence Inuit Nation” by Jonathan Wood, who provides an insight on the position of Greenland in the international scene as an independent indigenous state.
Furthermore, one article deals with the ambitions and international relations’ approach to Arctic affairs arising in Singapore: “Singapore and the Arctic: Is the Gibraltar of the East Going to Materialize its Geopolitical Ambitions?” by Thomas Viguier, who uses the microstate’s historical and development analysis in order to understand its philosophy and geopolitical position in Arctic affairs, promoting knowledge sharing as well as cooperation for a mutual benefit while addressing security issues.
Finally, three articles propose a reflection of the self in the Arctic from different perspectives: “Schrödinger’s American: A Self-Reflection of One Person’s Role in Iceland’s Nordic and Arctic Discourse” by Jonathan Wood, who explains his role in contributing to Iceland’s discourse on both national and international levels; “Climate Change, the Arctic and I” by Martin Binachon, who exposes an original self-reflection connected to the role of non-state actors in shaping international relations in a context of a warming Arctic; and “The Pandemic, the Arctic and Me: A Levels of Analysis Discussion of Arctic Security Focusing on the 2020 Global Pandemic” by Soazic Dacal, who provides an analysis of the impacts of COVID-19 on Arctic residents as well as the challenges and opportunities that arose from the situation using her personal experience as an Arctic resident in Iceland.
Overall, it is a juicy special issue that goes beyond traditional topics and is a genuine source of originality and fresh analysis: From future indigenous independent states to non-Arctic microstate and going through the role of self-reflection in international relations and the ongoing issues of the current COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the reader will find new perspectives to further understand the Arctic, its affairs, its people, its cultures, challenges and opportunities in a growing context of internationalization of the region. Here at NoMe, we would like to encourage everyone to submit academic articles, book reviews and any other academic material for publication in order to continue shaping a high-quality scholarly open-access journal coming directly from the Arctic. We wish you a nice reading!