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Understanding the Role of Arctic States, Non-Arctic States and Indigenous Peoples in Arctic Affairs Through the Lens of International Relations Theories

The Arctic has progressively entered the world of international relations since the first creation of the Russian American Company and the Hudson Bay Company up to the opening of the Northern Sea Route and increasing access to untapped resources. The individual in the Arctic could see, from the early stages of colonialism[1] up to nowadays’ industrialization, a shift in international relations: from a realist war for resources to a war for geopolitical security, and now for securing and exploiting resources. This last step is due to the current world economic trend (led by a capitalistic approach of an ever-growing economy) based on an exponential increase of technologies and population[2]. However, the individual has followed States’ philosophies and diplomatic approaches as the key word was security, sovereignty-related based on the Westphalian conception of States. Therefore, in order to understand the evolution and structure of the Arctic, a first analysis of the region may start with the application of International Relations’ Theories in order to understand the political shift and the consequences on all stakeholders.

The Arctic

In order to understand how international relations work in the Arctic, and hence security, a short analysis of the Arctic is required, applying the method of the 5Ws + 1H (What, Where, When, Who, Why and How), giving the following definition from the National Geographic Society:

“The Arctic is the Northernmost region of the Globe. […] the area within the Arctic Circle, a line of latitude about 66.5° North of the Equator. Within this circle are the Arctic ocean basin and the northern parts of Scandinavia, Russia, Canada, Greenland, and the U.S. state of Alaska. […] The Arctic is almost entirely covered by water, much of it frozen. […] River mouths, calving glaciers, and constantly moving ocean currents contribute to a vibrant marine ecosystem in the Arctic. […] Indigenous […] People established communities and cultures in the Arctic thousands of years ago. […] Rights to land and natural resources are an important part of contemporary culture and survival of indigenous peoples in the Arctic, […] tremendous challenges, often the result of colonization and exploitation of land and energy resources. […] Engineers and geographers estimate that oil and gas deposits in the Arctic make up 13% of the worlds undiscovered petroleum resources, and 30% of undiscovered natural gas resources. The Arctic is also rich in minerals.” [3]

This definition answers partly to the following questions: “What is the Arctic?”; “Where is the Arctic?”; “What is the History of the Arctic? (When); “What is the structure of the Arctic? (How)”; “Why is the Arctic so important?”; and most importantly “Who is living in the Arctic?”. Regarding the questions “What is the History of the Arctic? (When)” and “What is the structure of the Arctic? (How)”, an example of past race for the control over Arctic resources and land may be highlighted by the Russian – American Company and the Hudson Bay Company, helping in shaping future state borders. In addition, the Cold War era with the military control of the Arctic is another answer to the “When” question. Regarding the “How” question, since Gorbatchev’s speech in 1987[4] and the following creation of the Arctic Council in 1996, the Arctic has gained a regional political structure, an international forum where the Arctic States and the Permanent Participants may discuss Arctic Affairs and eventually issue non-legally and legally binding regulations (e.g., the Arctic Marine Strategic Plan and the MOSPA Agreement[5]).

The Approach

The Arctic is often referred to as a multifaceted region (i.e., No single definition of the Arctic)[6], therefore broadening the approach to the analysis of International Relations Theories applied to the Arctic may result in a more concrete study of the parameters that conform and shape the Arctic relations. As there is no single Arctic, going deeper in a single International Relations Theory would mean to leave aside many crucial parameters that characterize the Arctic. In this sense, through the application of International Relations Theories, a map of the organization of the Arctic might be drawn. The theories considered will be: Realism, Liberalism and English School. The Indigenous Level of Analysis[7] will be considered as cross-cutting due to the transboundary nature of the Indigenous Peoples’ organizations.

Realism

In this section, the realist approach will be applied to understand the relations between Arctic and non-arctic States and to obtain a hard security overview, in which the Westphalian concept of State, sovereignty and Indigenous Peoples’ claims will be considered. Only the differences between Russia and the United States (as the two opposed States during the Cold War), the state of China in the Arctic, and the Indigenous Peoples will be studied.

Russia vs. United States: In this clash of visions and regimes, the US and Russia oppose their claims over the Arctic, laying down their political approach to Realism. As stated before, the Arctic contains a large amount of offshore oil and gas. After the Cold War and the militarization of the Arctic, the post-Cold War era is characterized by the adoption of international legally binding conventions and agreements. The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea is one of them, being used by Arctic States in order to assert claims over continental shelves and extensions, as highlighted by Russia[8]. After the collapse of the Soviet Union and hence the end of the Cold War, there has been an exacerbation of the Westphalian concept of State from the economic perspective with the assertion of sovereign rights to advocate for resources in the Arctic [9]. In the case of Russia, there has been a military de-escalation after 1991 due to the economic chaos, therefore a lack of income, of the recently created Russian Federation[10]. But after its recovery, Russia shifted towards a scientific development to assert claims according the UNCLOS via the CLCS[11]. Moreover, the progressive melt down of the Arctic and a greater policy of sovereignty assertion, highlighted by the above-mentioned CLCS submission and because of its shrinking economy, are giving place to a military build-up[12]. In this sense, Russia develops and secures its own supply lines, trade routes, industrial and natural resources assets in the Arctic. In the case of the United States, the approach has been keeping an eye over the Arctic but not engaging in further expenses on militarization[13], resulting in a loss of military presence in the Arctic due to the end of the nuclear threat during the Cold War. In this sense, the US has followed the scientific movement to assert claims in the Arctic (despite not being part of UNCLOS, the US still gathers information that might be useful to formulate future claims in the Arctic Ocean[14], lowering its realist approach to transform it into a more liberal focused system with the extraction of oil and gas in Alaska[15]. However, according to the recent events, such as the announcement of the intentions to buy Greenland or the creation of the Polar Security Cutter program[16], the US has shown a shift towards a harder realist approach in dealing with Arctic affairs as Russia, allied with China, seems to represent a direct threat to its territorial sovereignty and sphere of geopolitical influence through Russia’s intentions of militarization[17] and the passive-aggressive behavior from China that considers itself as a near-Arctic State.

China and the Arctic: In its Arctic Policy, China declares itself as a near Arctic State, asserting through the wording its claims over the Arctic. According to the Policy and its international acts (e.g., participating in Arctic mining projects such as Arctic LNG 2 and Yamal LNG), China shows a clear realist approach in which it intends to gain political control, alongside Russia which has over 40% of the Arctic coast, over the Arctic and thus expanding a direct threat to the US in response to the American First and Second Island Chains in the Pacific[18]. Furthermore, China tried to increase Chinese-built infrastructures in Greenland, but the intervention of NATO blocked that investment at the last minute, showing the tensions between the NATO bloc and China for a strategic control of the Arctic[19]. As China launched the Polar Silk Road[20], theoretically, every logistical infrastructure would have the capacity to be used militarily due to the the involvement by the Chinese government as most of the Chinese companies participating in these projects are state controlled (e.g., Shandong Gold Mining Co. Ltd. and the bid to purchase the gold mine of Hope Bay, Canada[21]). These facts are confirmed by the increase in Chinese military assets and the already military use made by China of its Belt and Road Initiative infrastructure (e.g., the use of the Djibouti Port facilities as a naval base[22]).

Indigenous Peoples of the Arctic: Being the first peoples present in the Arctic, they fight against past colonialism, State bureaucracy, structuralism and the Westphalian concept of State applied in the Region. In this sense, Indigenous Peoples have gained in recognition of their rights through diverse mechanisms such as the land claims acts (e.g., Alaska Native Claim Settlement Act and Indigenous land claims in Canada) or the progressive approval and implementation of UN Conventions (e.g., UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights or the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples). From the recognition of their lands and cultures, Indigenous Peoples have adapted to the Westphalian concept of State through diverse political forms: one would be the creation of a borough like the North Slope Borough, another would be Greenland through the adoption of Home Rule Act and subsequent Self-Government Act that ensure the progressive gain in autonomy of the lands concerned, and a last example would be the reunification of tribes and peoples under International bodies in order to produce an international and tangible voice against States’ interests in international fora[23], some of them going further and building an alliance with States to secure their position (e.g. Finland, Norway, Sweden and Russian and the Saami Council[24]). These political adaptations are meant to build resilience against the Westphalian concept of State (Hard borders, centralized State with a full sovereignty over the territory within these borders). In this sense, these political and organizational structures allow the Indigenous Peoples to adapt themselves to both National and International structures and preserve then their rights while enhancing their recognition on both levels. It is a realist approach in the sense Indigenous Peoples fight to survive in a hostile environment where their interests are often a threat for sovereign States and private companies’ interests. It is not hard security such as military, but a security where the use of a constructive and peaceful dialogue is promoted, using international fora and diplomacy as a way to gain influence and public recognition. A clear example is the Permanent Participant status of Indigenous Peoples within the Arctic Council.

Liberalism

In this section, the liberal approach will be applied in order to understand the shift from hard security during the Cold War to the development of economic interests in the Arctic.

Russia and the Northern Sea Route (NSR): After the sanctions issued by the European Union in 2014[25], the Russian economy has been shrinking[26]. In this sense, and for almost a century, Russia has been trying to develop the Northern Sea Route in order to exploit its Arctic natural resources that are locked by the lack of infrastructure to export them outside the Arctic[27]. Furthermore, Russia has to exploit these resources in order to satisfy its industrial needs and continue developing its economy and assert its claims over the Arctic, operating a shift from realism to liberalism. This change is certainly the fruit of adaptation to world economics, but as well it has been induced by international sanctions from the US and Europe[28] that have precipitated the entry of Asian countries in the Arctic through mining projects in Russia such as Arctic LNG 2[29]. So, in a way, it is more about adaptation rather than State Philosophy.

Asian States (China, Japan, South Korea): Being part of the development of the NSR, the new Arctic marine technology and mining resources projects is the opportunity to integrate the development process of new trade routes [30], new resources and forecast the progressive shift from the traditional maritime routes to the Arctic. As the Asian countries above-mentioned are highly influential States linked to maritime industries, the control over new opportunities is clearly a liberal approach in order to keep their seat at the table in international fora as well as asserting their position in emerging Arctic markets. China, as mentioned in the realist approach, might be considered in a different way due to its economic position and military nature. However, the other Asian States are involved in a pure liberal approach, promoting economic interests with the help of the State that issues regulations and frameworks for its national private and public companies to take advantage over foreign companies through a fiscal, social and economic adaptability[31].

US, Canada, Norway, Greenland (Kingdom of Denmark) and Iceland: All these States have interests in the NSR and/or the Northwest Passage (NWP), as well as in developing their Arctic resources. In this sense, the approach differs from Russia where the NSR is controlled by the government and is only crossing one country: Russia. In the case of the Northwest Passage, Canada is involved for the archipelagic part but still have to go through the Bering Strait (Half controlled by Russia and half by the United States), where both Coast Guards may enforce controls as the strait is within territorial waters and located in the Polar Code area, meaning the Article 234 from UNCLOS[32] might be applied. Furthermore, Canada is fighting internationally to protect the Northwest Passage and consider it as internal waters in order to seek environmental preservation and pretend to the right of charging passage fees. In this sense, Canada and the United States are developing their resources and shifted, at the end of the Cold War, from a realist approach to Arctic affairs to a liberal approach with major developments in extraction of mining resources[33]. Iceland and Greenland may face their strategic location to both the North Atlantic entrance to the Arctic and the central Arctic with a more realist approach. In this sense, Iceland relies on NATO’s forces for a hard security apparatus while Greenland has a mix between Denmark and NATO’s security forces. Nonetheless, both countries are oriented towards a liberal philosophy as Iceland is willing to continue developing fisheries and maritime traffic, and Greenland is willing to develop sustainable industrial activities and infrastructures for a better communication with global trade routes. However, Iceland is progressively back as a key player in NATO’s strategy[34] and Greenland is increasingly developing a major role in securing the United States and NATO allies’ influence and control over the Arctic, being still under influence of the approach to build commercial infrastructure which would be used as military (e.g., like China and the Belt and Road Initiative[35]).

Indigenous Peoples: Indigenous Peoples may find in the technological build-up of the Arctic and the invasion of infrastructures and industries both a threat and possibility. This development may suppose a direct threat to their traditional culture and way of living, possibly destroying their ancestral lands and natural resources. However, they have to embrace economic progress to ensure food and health security, social and professional security through the creation of income from their resources to generate a stable political structure to be autonomous (e.g., Greenland and its first Home Rule Act of 1979 replaced by the Act on Self-Government of 2009). In this sense, Indigenous Peoples have to apply (Some already do, like the North Slope Borough with their political and regulatory framework) the liberal approach in order to continue achieving sustainability, build resilience and continue their march towards autonomy. As long as achieving a full-scale political, military and economic structure for a whole State might be not viable yet (e.g., Greenland and the fact Denmark controls foreign policy, currency and security), the best option to create security and face a State with equal arms would be the application of the liberal approach to generate income and thus protecting their way of living. Despite their ancestral culture and traditional way of living, Indigenous Peoples may have to adapt to, at least a national framework to ensure a required political security to protect their rights against both national and international interests. In this way, Indigenous Peoples may want to use liberalism as a primary mean to achieve security and thus achieving a soft form of realism.

As a cross cutting approach, the English School plays the role of reminder of the past. The Cold War being quite recent, all Arctic States, particularly Russia and the United States, may not want to come back to a state of constant military security threat that would impede the development of Arctic economies. In this sense, the Arctic Council is the best example in terms of English School application, being built on a solid and common interest to all Arctic States: environmental protection[36]. Therefore, it provided a common ground to overcome the differences generated during the Cold War (Realism) to achieve cooperation in order to control the future of the region (Realism) and to lead the Arctic development and economic efforts (Liberalism), all based on the analysis of the past, of cultures and societies, of the differences and resemblance[37].

Conclusion

The individual in the Arctic has been observing and experiencing a shift in international relations, from experiencing hard security threats (e.g., the Cold War) to a liberal approach that has driven the rapid build-up of mining and transportation facilities in the Arctic (e.g., Greenland and the construction of three new airports[38]). Therefore, there is an economic development underway, bringing social and economic security, which might be still missing in strength in most of the remote communities[39]. However, despite the recent military escalation between the US and Russia in the Arctic, Liberalism is definitely on the rise and supported by all States as economic ventures are increasing in number and strength across the region, with examples such as the Royal Arctic Line – Eimskip cooperation agreement, the multistakeholder LNG projects in Russia, to name but a few. This shift has been driven by the implementation of the English School that exposed the economic losses and the waste of capacities from both blocs (Eastern and Western), being translated into a state of permanent threat that channeled efforts and finances towards hard military security. In this sense, Indigenous Peoples across the Arctic experienced different political approaches that led to different security issues. In some parts of the Arctic, specific legal mechanisms have been signed, promoting the recognition of Indigenous rights and creating a certain autonomy (e.g., Greenland and its first Home Rule Act in 1979, or Alaska and the ANCSA in 1971). In other parts, Indigenous communities were sacrificed for the sake of the Nation (e.g., Russia and the construction of infrastructures on Indigenous lands[40]). However, after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the decrease in military expenses from both sides (One driven by a collapsed economy like Russia and another by the military financial release) and therefore decreasing the militarization of the Arctic created a void that was filled up by both public and private companies that were looking for new opportunities. Suddenly, Arctic communities would see the opportunity of an opening to the World as the geopolitical tensions would decline. Indigenous Peoples then could enjoy an economic breath and an international recognition as the land they occupy would not be longer subject to tensions, bringing the space and opportunity to start building an international voice that would be recognized by the UN (e.g., the ILO Convention 169 in 1989 and the UNDRIP in 2007 and then by several States in both the Arctic and the World). Nonetheless, in order to secure this voice and claims, the Indigenous Peoples made the opposite shift, using Liberalism and English School as two powerful tools to achieve Realism and thus create security for their rights, culture and lands. In this sense, Indigenous Peoples understood the current and increasing shift from state to intergovernmental organization-driven interests, in which states slowly gather in groups from the same geographical region and/or sphere of influence to pursue common international economic, political, security and/or military goals (e.g., NATO, the EU and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization). After all, unity makes strength, and Indigenous Peoples have a great track record of applying such philosophy to survive in the Arctic.

References

[1] Janice GAE Switlo, ‘Modern Day Colonialism – Canada’s Continuing Attempts to Conquer Aboriginal Peoples’ International Journal on Minority and Group Rights Vol. 9, No. 2 (2002), pp. 103-141.

[2] Juan Martínez-Barea, El Mundo Que Viene.

[3] National Geographic Society, ‘Arctic’ (National Geographic Society, 6 October 2016) <http://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/arctic/> accessed 13 April 2020.

[4] KRISTIAN ÅTLAND, ‘Mikhail Gorbachev, the Murmansk Initiative, and the Desecuritization of Interstate Relations in the Arctic’ Cooperation and Conflict Vol. 43, No. 3 (September 2008), pp. 289-311.

[5] Arctic Council Secretariat (ACS), ‘Status of Ratification: Agreement on Cooperation on Marine Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response in the Arctic. Information Document Submitted by the Arctic Council Secretariat.’ (Arctic Council Secretariat 2014) Working Paper <https://oaarchive.arctic-council.org/handle/11374/1350> accessed 17 October 2019.

[6] Annika E Nilsson and Miyase Christensen, Arctic Geopolitics, Media and Power (2019) 2 <https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/9780429199646> accessed 13 April 2020.

[7] Barry Scott Zellen (ed), The Fast-Changing Arctic: Rethinking Arctic Security for a Warmer World (University of Calgary Press 2013) <http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/j.ctv6gqr43> accessed 13 April 2020.

[8] ‘Continental Shelf – Submission to the Commission by Norway’ <https://www.un.org/Depts/los/clcs_new/submissions_files/submission_nor.htm> accessed 20 March 2021.

[9] ‘Continental Shelf – Submission to the Commission by the Russian Federation’ <https://www.un.org/Depts/los/clcs_new/submissions_files/submission_rus_rev1.htm> accessed 13 April 2020.

[10] ‘Russia – Post-Soviet Russia | Britannica’ <https://www.britannica.com/place/Russia/Post-Soviet-Russia> accessed 13 April 2020.

[11] ‘Continental Shelf – Submission to the Commission by the Russian Federation’ (n 9).

[12] Lassi Heininen, Alexander Sergunin and Gleb Yarovoy, RUSSIAN STRATEGIES IN THE ARCTIC: AVOIDING A NEW COLD WAR, p 5 <https://www.uarctic.org/media/857300/arctic_eng.pdf>.

[13] ‘Ref-181-Americas-Role-in-the-Arctic.Pdf’ 5 <https://www.americansecurityproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Ref-181-Americas-Role-in-the-Arctic.pdf> accessed 13 April 2020.

[14] ibid 2.

[15] ‘Alaska North Slope Crude Oil Production (Thousand Barrels per Day)’ <https://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=PET&s=MANFPAK2&f=M> accessed 13 April 2020.

[16] ‘Polar Security Cutter’ <https://www.dcms.uscg.mil/Our-Organization/Assistant-Commandant-for-Acquisitions-CG-9/Programs/Surface-Programs/Polar-Icebreaker/> accessed 13 April 2020.

[17] ‘China, Russia and Security Strategies in the Arctic’ <https://www.highnorthnews.com/en/china-russia-and-security-strategies-arctic> accessed 13 April 2020.

[18] ‘China’s Reach Has Grown; So Should the Island Chains’ (Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, 22 October 2018) <https://amti.csis.org/chinas-reach-grown-island-chains/> accessed 13 April 2020.

[19] ‘How the Pentagon Countered China’s Designs on Greenland – WSJ’ <https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-the-pentagon-countered-chinas-designs-on-greenland-11549812296> accessed 13 April 2020.

[20] ‘China Launches the Polar Silk Road’ <https://www.csis.org/analysis/china-launches-polar-silk-road> accessed 13 April 2020.

[21] ‘SHANDONG GOLD MINING CO., LTD. : Shareholders Board Members Managers and Company Profile | CNE000001FR7 | MarketScreener’ <https://www.marketscreener.com/quote/stock/SHANDONG-GOLD-MINING-CO–6497385/company/> accessed 26 May 2021.

[22] Lauren Ploch Blanchard and Sarah R Collins, ‘China’s Engagement in Djibouti’ 2, para 1.

[23] Elizabeth Mayer, ‘ESTABLISHING THE ROLE OF PERMANENT PARTICIPANTS ON THE ARCTIC COUNCIL’.

[24] ‘The Saami Council’ (Sámiráđđi) <https://www.saamicouncil.net/en/the-saami-council> accessed 13 April 2020.

[25] ‘EU Restrictive Measures in Response to the Crisis in Ukraine’ <http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/policies/sanctions/ukraine-crisis/> accessed 13 April 2020.

[26] Martin Russell, Europäisches Parlament, and Generaldirektion Wissenschaftlicher Dienst, Seven Economic Challenges for Russia Breaking out of Stagnation?: In-Depth Analysis (2018) <https://doi.org/10.2861/227260> accessed 13 April 2020.

[27] ‘Moscow Adopts 15-Year Grand Plan for Northern Sea Route – The Moscow Times’ <https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/01/02/moscow-adopts-15-year-grand-plan-for-northern-sea-route-a68798> accessed 14 April 2020.

[28] ‘Dreyer et Popescu – 2014 – Do Sanctions Against Russia Work.Pdf’ 1 <https://www.files.ethz.ch/isn/186485/Brief_35_Russia_sanctions.pdf> accessed 26 May 2021.

[29] ‘Press Center : Press Releases and Events | NOVATEK Closes Arctic LNG 2 Transaction’ <https://www.novatek.ru/en/press/releases/index.php?id_4=3317> accessed 12 March 2021.

[30] Svein Gjelle and Norges geologiske undersøkelse, Landet Ved Polarsirkelen: Geologi Og Landskapsformer (Norges geologiske undersøkelse 1995) 68.

[31] ‘South Korea to Combine World’s Two Biggest Shipbuilders in $2 Billion Deal’ Reuters (31 January 2019) <https://www.reuters.com/article/us-daewoo-s-m-m-a-hyundaiheavyinds-idUSKCN1PO17K> accessed 14 April 2020.

[32] ‘Unclos_e.Pdf’ 113 <https://www.un.org/depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/unclos_e.pdf> accessed 8 April 2020.

[33] Øyvind Østerud and Geir Hønneland, ‘Geopolitics and International Governance in the Arctic’ Arctic Review on Law and Politics, vol. 5, 2/2014 pp. 156–176 159.

[34] ‘Iceland’s Role in Transatlantic Security Growing | NATO PA’ (Iceland’s Role in Transatlantic Security Growing | NATO PA) <http://www.nato-pa.int/news/icelands-role-transatlantic-security-growing> accessed 14 April 2020.

[35] ‘China Is Weaponizing the Belt and Road. What Can the US Do About It? – The Diplomat’ <https://thediplomat.com/2020/10/china-is-weaponizing-the-belt-and-road-what-can-the-us-do-about-it/> accessed 26 May 2021.

[36] Arctic Council, Arctic Council Anniversary Documentary: 25 Years of Peace and Cooperation (2021) <https://vimeo.com/549367004> accessed 26 May 2021.

[37] ibid.

[38] ‘How the Pentagon Countered China’s Designs on Greenland – WSJ’ (n 19).

[39] ‘Iqaluit’s Population Turns to Amazon to Save Money, Government Program “Not Working” – National | Globalnews.Ca’ <https://globalnews.ca/news/3587158/iqaluits-population-turns-to-amazon-prime/> accessed 14 April 2020.

[40] ‘Russia: Legislative Change to Demolish Indigenous Land Rights – IWGIA – International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs’ <https://www.iwgia.org/en/russia/2010-russia-legislative-change-to-demolish-indigenous-l.> accessed 14 April 2020.

Kamrul Hossain, José Miguel Roncero Martín and Anna Petrétei (eds.), Human and Societal Security in the Circumpolar Arctic (Leiden and Boston: Brill Nijhoff, 2018)

This well-conceived edited volume offers new research and analysis on human security in the Scandinavian and Russian Arctic. The editors sought to inform national and local policy as decision-makers and citizens plan for the future. The book uses many disciplines and methods to get at the dimensions of human security. In so doing, the volume illustrates how those who live in the Arctic—indigenous or not—respond to the opportunities and threats to human security in the region.

The book is divided into 5 parts: an extended essay on the central theme, as well as a conclusion. Parts 2, 3, 4 cut at the issues by putting the “local” into different contexts. Part 2 concerns local actors and governance frameworks. Part 3 switches scale and considers local implications of global developments. Part 4 then considers identity and values. Taken together the volume achieves its goal of being useful to those interested in refashioning Arctic policy and law to better facilitate human security.

The editors use the definition of societal security used by the Copenhagen School in security studies: “’sustainability, within acceptable conditions for evolution, of traditional patterns of language, culture, and religious and national identity and custom’ of a society. “Evolution” means the local society makes meaningful choices that work in their place rather than adapting to decisions made far away and with little input from the community. Security for communities produces deep security. The crucial claim in the book is that if communities can make their own security in important ways, then national security is largely sustained.

The policy side Arctic states each have policies for the Arctic. The thorough and thoughtful discussion by Martín in Chapter 2 of the policies, however, highlights the mismatch between what is good for the territorial state and what might be good for human security. The central problem is that national policies rarely multiply cultural and institutional options. Indeed they may weaken communities by undermining (sometimes literally) the economic security of a city or a herding community.

Alexander Sergunin continues that point by showing how Russian Arctic policy supports or hinders human security and sustainable development. In official policy both are to be enhanced. But, the federal bureaucracy usually resists or hinders local initiative rather than “using the resources of these actors in a creative way” (63). He pursues the gap between municipalities and the national level through a discussion of major city plans for human security and sustainable development. Even cities, however, mostly emphasize economic and environmental issues rather than the security of individuals.

Colonialism remains a governance reality. Sara Nyhlén, Katarina Nygren, Anna Olofsson and Johanna Bergström use a technique from feminist theory, intersectionalism, as a method to look at Swedish Arctic policy discourse. The discourses favor the state through claims, metaphors, and assumptions:

  • Claims of discovery over indigenous presence.
  • Mobilizing metaphors that shape problem representation, for example that sustainable development reduces risk and promotes economic development (in which central experts matter more than local ones).
  • Colonial assumptions that states are the only legitimate form of organization and that states cooperate.

Once unpacked, the discourses can be connected to power to act or not. Change the discourse and new human security-centered policy might be possible.

Wilfred Greaves continues the theme of colonization of Sapmi (the region where the Sami live in Scandinavia and Russia) by looking at policy over a long-time frame. Control over Sapmi and the Sami was part of Norway’s effort to establish itself as a sovereign state rather than a part of Sweden or Denmark. It was a matter of national security to put the Sámi under Norwegian control lest they ally themselves with other emerging states or abandon the borderlands. The Sami almost never resisted the efforts from further south and the policy of Norwegianization. By the 1970s, however, growing support for indigenous culture led Samí to claim they were rights holders who had a right to their own culture. Samí in Norway do not seek autonomy, so the colonial project is still at work, but they do negotiate frequently over government plans for their lands. They have also shown that “going green” is often a threat to human security of the Sami.

Michael Sheehan focuses on how different conceptions of territoriality produced conflict between Sami and Sweden’s construction of the ESRANGE launch site to put rockets into outer space. The Swedish government thought it wilderness. For the Sami, it represented numerous spaces for reindeer herding and other cultural activities. The author explains why Sweden chose space exploration and how the launch site connected to broader European space institutions, but were blind to Sami institutions. For example, rather than understanding Sami herding practices, Sweden responded to Sami concerns by imagining the communities were worried about personal security and offering blast protection sites to use.

The six chapters in part 3 are devoted to resource extraction. It begins with a critique of how states ‘cost’ things by Corinna Casi. Most states use economic cost/benefit analysis. They assign a price to clean air or freedom of movement and then decide on the most beneficial use. Casi argues the approach is misguided and not suitable for creating, preserving, or sustaining human security. Some environmental and human values can’t be priced effectively. Moreover, humans are more than consumers who buy and sell. Listening and finding solutions through discussion are better than seeing markets everywhere.

That critique is followed by how Arctic communities might get better discussion. Satu Rantu-Tyrkkö argues that social work could reduce risks of metal mining in Finland, if it would be more futures oriented by including intergenerational justice and responsibilities. Julia Loginova follows with her study local perceptions of security in Pripechor’e, Russia, a Komi-Izhuma community seeing considerable oil and gas development. The Komi-Izhuma have complex notions of security. When they sought to include this complexity in policy and plans, the government was deaf to them. As a consequence, they changed strategies and have demanded land and other rights from an oil firm rather than the national government.

Gerald Zojer argues that the discourse of sustainable development is too tied to the market to provide much human security. His evidence is based on discourse analysis of Arctic Council ministerial meetings. That discourse shifted from environmental concerns to market ones that emphasize the use of the region’s natural resources. In the shift the governments talked of human development through economic development. While it is possible that hydrocarbon development will help Arctic communities, it is not especially likely because formal markets do not recognize the benefits of the informal economies that are being displaced.

Hossain and Petrétei develop the evolutionary theme. They conceive Arctic society as a transnational one, but where all the communities are experience similar environmental and economic pressures. For resource extraction to promote human and societal security, policy would have to bring in environmental and sociopolitical responsibility.

The chapter by Stefan Kirchner argues law might help others find their responsibility to the Sami responsibility. He argues that the Sami of Finland have avenues to resist or shape government policy. While few Sami hold their areas as property, they do have procedural access to changing policy in areas of concern to them. For example, reindeer will not feed near power-generating windmills, but by using their procedural rights to participate, better policy might be possible in that new area as well as in subsoil mining.

Part 4 has four articles using a variety of cultural approaches to understanding human security. Helene Peterbauer and José Martín apply literary analysis to works about Svalbard. The chapter could be usefully read along with those in Section 1, notably Greaves. Some literature makes appeals to restore Sami culture, another type takes up a minority within the Sami as the theme. Traditional security themes from the Cold War, e.g. Soviet miners were really Soviet soldiers, told a different story about threats to Norway.

 

Tahnee Prior argues that a bottom up approach to understanding human (in)security would be useful and points to efforts to tell individual stories through blogs and other digital means. Digital storytelling can reveal relationships between gender and security.

Elena Busyreva interviewed descendants of Finns who migrated to the Kola peninsula in Russia to understand what was left of their culture. Most lost the Finnish language in a number of ways (policy, marriage…). The religious elements, while weakened by the closure of all Lutheran churches, survived in family traditions. Material culture carried over in housing design and the all-important sauna.

The last chapter in this part presents a research project by Tatiana Zhigaltsova where children drew maps and pictures of where they went during the day and also their most and least favorite places. Most of the Russian young intend to leave as soon as they are old enough…a problem for many Arctic communities. The results could improve planning on how to encourage the young to stay.

In sum, the book will speak to many researchers and policy makers. The sheer diversity empirical approaches and examples enhances Arctic scholarship. The solid use of shifting levels of analysis advances theory.

Elana Wilson Rowe, Arctic Governance: Power in cross-border cooperation (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2018)

Either described as a peaceful and stable region where a special type of governance has been instrumental in building trust among States or as a region prone to potential future conflicts over territory and resources, the Arctic is now at the centre of many studies and research in policy-making, governance and international relations about the changing post-Cold War  geopolitical world. In Arctic Governance: Power in cross-border cooperation, NUPI Research Professor and Adjunct Professor at Nord University in Norway, Elana Wilson Rowe, explores the contested but largely cooperative nature of Arctic governance in the post-Cold War period, and the ways in which power has shaped both cross-border cooperation and performance of diplomacy in the region. An important premise of the book is that, in global governance, power should not be viewed a zero-sum game but rather as a fluid performance between different actors. Rather than focusing on describing power as it is, the book uses different analytical frameworks from international relations to geography to understand how this performance of power plays out in practice.

Building on this idea of power, Wilson Rowe focuses on how Arctic cross-border cooperation is marked by power relations that are under constant re-enactment and renegotiation. She takes Russia’s role at the Arctic Council as an example to examine to what extent Arctic governance can be understood as a competition for the exercise of authority over certain places and certain audiences. Taking a multidisciplinary approach to governance, security and diplomacy in the Arctic, it calls for establishing more inclusive and situated ways of looking at the interplay all Arctic. Throughout the book, Wilson Rowe develops four key propositions to demonstrate how Arctic cross-border cooperation has been marked by these relations of power.

After an introduction and a first chapter where the book sets the contextual underpinnings and describes the five groups of actors at the centre of Arctic governance (i.e. Indigenous peoples, States, commercial actors, NGOs, and Scientists), Chapter 2 focuses on how power relations are manifested in and shaped by the definitions and representations of Arctic policy objects and the region more broadly. The Arctic as physical space is framed and understood through specific dichotomic narratives (e.g. the Arctic as region of peace or conflict; conservation and environment against sustainable development) and visual vocabularies. However, the complexities of Arctic governance cannot be analysed through simple binary frames. This chapter illustrates that such framing is not fixed and is often contested or used by actors to promote one narrative over another when performing Arctic diplomacy. She further argues that while framings are often regarded as an academic analytical tool, they are also actively used by the actors themselves to realise their preferred outcomes. Wilson Rowe narrows her analyses down to three discursive framings: 1) “the Arctic as a zone of peace”  and the challenges following Russia’s annexation of Crimea, 2) “the global Arctic versus the regional Arctic” the involvement of new Arctic Council Observer States, and 3) “business as a tool of pan-Arctic” and the establishment of the Arctic Economic Council in 2015. Experienced players in Arctic governance seem highly aware of these framings and the importance of what Wilson Rowe calls “geo-power”. Contestation and debate only arise when these narratives and framings are placed under pressure by changing circumstances or new considerations.

In Chapter 3, Wilson Rowe studies the proposition that as policy fields come together and endure, it is important to study how structured power relations work. Having a hierarchical outlook is a useful analytical tool in an Arctic context. Apart from the more obvious “Arctic States” (A8) and “Arctic Coastal States” (A5) clubs, Wilson Rowe illustrates this proposition with the examples of Russia and the United States. According to her, both countries are best understood as resting power in Arctic relations. In day-to-day Arctic diplomacy and interactions, the two countries act like any other A8 or A5 country, however, at critical, agenda-setting junctures, their participation is seen by other states as essential and their actions have long-lasting significance for the development of Arctic multilateralism. Norway is another good example of a State that was able to navigate predetermined hierarchical norms and position itself as a ‘knowledge power’ at the leading end of Arctic governance and politics, especially as a central actor in Russia-Western cooperation.

In Chapter 4, Wilson Rowe examines the role of informal norms and key social constraints characterizing Arctic cross-border cooperation. She uses Russia’s role at the Arctic Council between 1997 and 201 as an example to argue that countries are shaped by policy field norm constraints and seek to transform them. She concludes that between 1997 and 2007, Russia showed low levels of participation and had some successful “low-political” cooperation as the projects proposals only focused on the Russian Arctic without additional cooperation. As argued in the chapter, this challenges the expectation that all Arctic countries will participate in circumpolar governance. However, the second decade (2007-2017) saw Russia significantly invest in creating binding agreements and be a norm-making leader in the region.

Chapter 5 explores how different actors constantly work to refine or redefine power relations. Arctic governance is understood as a form of competition over who has authority and who can exercise this authority. Using negotiations at the ‘science–policy’ and ‘peoples–states’ interfaces at high-level Arctic Council meetings, Wilson Rowe uses the framework of “civic epistemology” to understand how authority is articulated or challenged. Her work examines the interplay between politics and authority in the performance of power.

Absorbing and well-written, the book conveys complex ideas and approaches in a simple way that allows readers to engage and connect with the text. Far from the conflict-driven narratives of more realist approaches to international relations, Wilson Rowe’s in-depth analysis of how power performances between multiple actors shaped relations in the Arctic provides a most-interesting perspective on the need to prioritise and expand pan-Arctic cooperation. Overall, Wilson Rowe’s book is a must-read for anyone interested in international relations and the Arctic. Published by Manchester University Press and available for open-access download, Arctic Governance: Power in Cross-Border Cooperation offers one of the most timely and refreshing takes on Arctic governance.

Donald R. Rothwell, Arctic Ocean Shipping: Navigation, Security and Sovereignty in the North American Arctic (Leiden: Brill, 2018)

The significance of Arctic shipping has long been underestimated because of difficulties associated with navigating through the hostile Arctic environment. This is bound to change for two reasons. Technological advances are giving ships greater capacity to operate in ice-covered waters. Moreover, the reduction of sea-ice is becoming less of a barrier because the hard multi-year ice gives way to thinner first-year ice as a result of climate change. These changes are creating new shipping routes through the Arctic via the Northeast or Northwest Passages and potentially through the central Arctic Ocean via the Bering Strait and the Denmark or Fram Straits. These emerging routes are up to 5,000 nautical miles shorter than alternative routes through the Panama Canal, which explains the growing interest in trans-Arctic shipping and relevant international law.

Arctic Ocean Shipping is a very well written book on important, contemporary, legal and geopolitical issues. It touches upon issues of security and sovereignty but it focuses primarily on rights and obligations relating to navigation in the North American Arctic, and on two state actors, Canada and the United States. Issues are analysed with reference to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and other relevant legal instruments.

Arctic Ocean Shipping is logically structured and divided into five sections, beginning with an introduction. Section II provides an overview of the “Arctic Ocean Legal Regime”, discussing the applicable international law, sovereignty, shipping, the “Regime of International Straits” and “Arctic Governance”. This includes a particularly interesting analysis of the special considerations concerning sovereignty in the polar regions and suggests that stricter standards of effective occupation might be applied to territorial claims in the Twenty-First Century, due to increased accessibility.

Section III, entitled “Arctic Navigation”, is very intriguing. It deals with “Arctic Navigation Routes”, the “Northwest Passage”, “Bering Strait”, “Arctic Straits and Trans-Arctic Shipping”, “Navigational Rights within the EEZ and High Seas” and “Canadian and US Arctic Rights and Interests”. This section provides an excellent account of navigational routes through the Arctic and their legal status. The rights, interests and policies of Canada and the US are thoroughly explained, with an emphasis on the Northwest Passage and the Bering Strait. Rothwell addresses a contentious issue in a particularly interesting chapter on “The Northwest Passage as an International Strait” where he explains the different positions of Canada and the US concerning the functional requirement of international straits. Reliance upon recorded number of transits would suggest that the Northwest Passage should not qualify as an international strait but a contemporaneous assessment of potential usage suggests the opposite. Recent transits of US vessels through the passage have been subject to an agreement with Canada, making them consensual rather than an exercise of the right of transit passage. This essentially allows the states to peacefully operate without resolving the disagreement. Rothwell does not definitively answer the question, whether emerging routes can qualify as international straits on the basis of potential use. It is an important question which should be relevant for the classification of other routes, such as the Nares strait. However, it will take further usage and involvement of other states to give an unequivocal answer.

Section IV is entitled “Arctic Maritime Security” and it deals with different aspects of “Post 9/11 Global Security Concerns”. This includes chapters on “Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism”, “Port Security”, “Safety of Navigation” and “Maritime Search and Rescue”. The point of this final section is to provide additional context for understanding Arctic policies of Canada and the US. There is not a lot of literature on maritime security in the Arctic so this is a timely contribution. The section gives an overview of the applicable legal instruments but does not consider particular issues in any detail. The monograph ends with “Concluding Remarks” in section V.

Arctic Ocean Shipping is well organised and well written by an exceptionally competent scholar. Yet, two points of criticism will be raised. First, it might have been relevant to include more information on the positions of other states and related issues in the Russian and Scandinavian Arctic for further context and deeper analysis. Second, issues of Arctic sovereignty arguably deserved further attention, given the title of the monograph. For example, it would have been interesting to learn more about the ongoing sovereignty dispute between Denmark and Canada in the Nares Strait.

In conclusion, Arctic Ocean Shipping is strongly recommended. It thoroughly explains the main issues concerning trans-Arctic shipping and does so in an accessible manner. The monograph provides an extensive and very useful overview of the field and is a welcome addition to the literature. The chapter on “Arctic Navigation” is particularly well written and it intriguingly sheds light on ongoing developments and contentious issues. The book is indispensable for lawyers involved with trans-Arctic shipping. Furthermore, it is relevant for all those interested in public international law and the Arctic, or navigational rights generally, and it is recommended for students, academics and practitioners alike.

Human Rights as Part of the Human Security of Ukraine

The present reality of the European Community requires a complex analysis of international and inter-ethnic crises and armed conflicts. The context of recent events, the military conflict in Ukraine, human security in Europe are the key components in the policy of the European Union and number of democratic countries.

In Ukraine we have problems with the main part of human security as human rights, because of the negative heritage after the USSR as well as a difficult political and economic situation and a low level of legal culture. After the beginning of the conflict in 2014, the interest in human rights started to be in the first row and caught the attention of politics as well as society as a whole in Ukraine. The problem became so intense that the events and popularization of how to solve the existing issues in the country took its beginnings and action followed.

Before we actually get to talk about either human rights or human security, we should ponder on the following questions: What is security? What are its peculiarities? What is personal and international security and what influence does it have on human rights?

Security studies is a research area that has an interdisciplinary nature. It is linked to international relations, history, law, political science, economics, and several areas of military studies. The sources for this discipline are academic research and the monitoring of the behavior of the subjects of international law functioning under different conditions and depending on a series of external and internal factors. Security is divided into national and international according to the subjective criterion, and into military, political, economic, ecological, and informational according to the objective criterion[1]. Human security is among the latter group.

The notion of security has a subjective and politically charged nature, and it can change depending on the subject’s point of view. It can, in turn, generate a so-called security dilemmawhich has to do with conditions of uncertainty. For instance, the increase of military potential in a certain country or the conclusion of military treaties can cause neighboring countries to experience the sensation of a security deficiency[2]. Where does it come from? A couple words about history are needed.

The search for means to establish lasting peace in the international community has found its way through the idea of collective security. This concept of collective security consists in countries joining forces in order to achieve superiority in armaments, impose collective sanctions on the aggressor, and, finally, protect the mutual values of the participating countries and the “sense of international solidarity”[3]. It means that the countries interacting in the international activities accommodate their own national interests to the requirements of international security. Collective security is a shared value for the actors in international relations, it is a global value, and concerns global security (comprehensive security concept by Barry Buzan).[4] Collective security is furthermore a legislative and political system whose aim is to prevent probable conflicts among countries participating in international relations, and keep peace permanent. The institutions of collective security are as follows: The United Nations, the Organization of the Security and Cooperation in Europe, the European Union. The first to verbalize this idea was Woodrow Wilson, the President of the USA. By his initiative, the League of Nations was founded in 1919.

The complicated consequences of the Second World War and the endeavor to find ways to eliminate them urged the international community to found an organization that would unite the activities of the countries in the field of international collaboration and establishing peace basing their actions on international law. Thus, in 1941, the Atlantic Charter was signed, and then followed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, where 26 countries declared their wish to collaborate and develop human rights. The fundamental document for United Nations activity was the United Nations Charter, also known as ‘the constitution of nations’. At that very moment, human rights became a separate sphere in the international discourse. The United Nations Charter is based on the principles of international law and it is the legal foundation for the United Nation activity. The United Nations Charter describes the aim, structure, bodies and the procedures of its activity, directions tor its activity, and the principles for the United Nations membership. The United Nations Charter also declares the supremacy of law and other international law obligations, which altogether makes the United Nations Charter a basic and essential document of international law. The United Nations are universal system with legal and institutional infrastructure, within whose framework the international community acts in order to solve mutual problems on both regional and global levels. The United Nations are the groundwork for international security. The main United Nations body is the Security Council, which is responsible for keeping international peace and security. According to the United Nations Charter principles, the United Nations has monopoly on using force to resolve various international conflicts (Chapter 7)[5].

The present-day notion of security has altered after the Cold War ended. It evolved from a brief notion of military threat to a multifaceted idea which includes economical, ecological, and social components. Human rights and their part in the legal relations system are another crucially important sphere. Human security relies on countries’ obligations, and the human rights recorded in international documents.

 The need of security is one of the fundamental personal needs that, according to Maslow’s hierarchy, regard all the aspects and spheres of human life. What it involves is not only a threat of armed conflict, but also the risk of losing something particularly valuable to an individual, that is, psychological comfort. The sense of security provides people with an opportunity to survive and live, to have their independence, human dignity, and a chance to grow. It gets them into a state of rest and permits a number of freedoms, such as freedom of thought and speech, the right to identity, including national, religious, and linguistic. The sense of security enables people to exercise their rights and grants them a sense of their rights being respected on both the personal and civilian levels.

By the end of Second World War, the state was still the primary subject of security; however, in present-day international affairs, the role of human being and non-state actors feature instead as ones of the key roles. Human rights are a branch of constitutional and international law that aims at the institutional protection of human rights, people, or larger groups; it’s aims also include control over rights enforcement and protection. By the first half of the 20thcentury recognition or non-recognition of human rights had belonged to the state. Occasionally, it is still true even nowadays. It was thanks to the 1909 Geneva Convention[6] and The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement,[7] starting in 1919, that began to draw the international community’s attention to the issues of human rights violations, especially during armed conflicts.

The tool for international community’s action in emergency situations is the international humanitarian law of armed conflicts, which regulates behavior of combatants and defines their status, as well as the status of civilians and prisoners. The turning point for defining human rights was the Proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948.[8] It was an unprecedented act of the states that proclaimed freedom and equality for all. It was a cornerstone for building the human rights systems on the international level. These positions were consolidated by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, defining the state’s obligations towards its residents where their right to strike and right to take part in trade union activity were emphasized.[9]

On the European level, The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR – formally the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms) has an important function. It has become a summary of the achievements of the preceding documents in the realm of human rights, in particular due to its mechanisms which can restrict the violation of human rights and sanctioning violations. The ECHR catalog of human rights has constantly been improved in the Supplementary records containing the register of not only state residents’ rights, but also foreign nationals and non-nationals.[10] The important part in the system of preventing human rights violations belongs to the judicial branch, that is the international tribunals and courts.

The process of European integration and the enlargement of European Union has increased its competence in the sphere of civil rights and has influenced the Сharter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. It is a fundamental compilation of human rights and civil obligations which is based on common values such as dignity, freedom, human equality, consideration of cultural differences and national identities.[11]

The international system of human rights protection would not have survived – without the 1972-1975 Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe – Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE-OSCE) process dedicated to two issues: security and human rights. It was an ideological confrontation between East and West, the United State of America and the Soviet Union, resulting from different ideological grounds.[12] The absence of analogies to the CSCE process is explained by the fact that before it emerged, the East-West relationships had not included the human rights issue due to the fundamental contradiction of views, doctrines, and practices.

The probability of an armed conflict sidelined a human rights sphere. The years of intense discussions resulted in the signing of the Helsinki Accords, which confirmed the nations’ right to self-determination, defined the duties of mutual collaboration in the humanitarian sphere, and included the respect of human rightsas one of the fundamental principles of international relations. Even though the Helsinki Accords did not spell out the control mechanism for human rights enforcement, it still stated that not only state governments but also NGOs are able to maintain the said control.

The strategic meaning of Нelsinki Аccords lied within the fact that 35 states of the post-war Europe signed a treaty making human rights a part of international relations. The institutionalization of the CSCE process into ОSCE, the availability of permanent departments ensured the implementation of standards for the sphere of human rights. OSCE is thus made into the regional system of international human rights protection. The variety of institutions dealing with human rights protection indicates in international law. Also, there are mechanisms which protect human rights but there are problems with implementation it in the states’ practice.[13] Human security handles such cases. Human security cannot exist isolated from the national security; therefore, it depends on how the state structure is functioning, its legal system, the society and human rights enforcement. These factors influence human activity, their opportunities, development, social integration level, and cooperation with the government.

A threat to the personal security can be perceived in different ways, depending on the country and the cultural traditions, the multiethnicity of the country, its religion, system of social values, quality of life, migration etc. The reason for the sensation of personal security is the conviction that one’s own state and the international community stand guard over human rights and fulfill the duty to protect both persecuted – persons and ethnic groups, and that international law is a guarantee and a tool for achieving such a goal. The threats of the present-day world, such as the aggravation of armed conflicts and terrorism pose a new challenge to the world community.

The role of human security in this situation grows significantly. Human security is personal security of the human being in emergency situations such as armed conflicts, catastrophes, famine, poverty etc., that require aid or intervention from international organizations based on international law.

The segregation of human security as an individual sector began in 1982 at the UN session, when Olaf Palme made a report to the United Nations Disarmament Commission concerning the humanitarian crisis in the Iran-Iraq war. In Ukrainian security studies, the interpretation of human security is slightly different from what is found in the general scientific discourse. It is the state of the sense of security of a person, family, ethnic group, nation, and their ambitions, ideals, values, traditions, culture, opportunities of growth and freedom of choice regardless of the race, gender, language, and religion[14]. It has connected with a series of historical factors that affect the sense of security in Ukrainian society, which is firstly centuries without it is own state, then Soviet government, and, finally, the present war in eastern Ukraine.

The idea of human security in Ukraine is developing in the three following directions: security of physical and mental health; free self-definition of residents, social groups and peoples; security of residents in terms of free choice of development path and the general opportunity to choose one’s own future. All these point towards a peculiar sense of security directly connected to freedom and the expression of one’s will, independence of actions and opportunity of choice[15]. This concept is somewhat similar to the United Nations’ concept of Sustainable Development and is closely linked to humanitarian politics; it is also a so-called ‘mitigating element’ of security. It is worth noting that in Ukraine the ethnic and national security is another element of national security, as several models of national identity coexist at the same time in the state as well as the subsequent threats.

Nowadays, human security is facing a number of challenges. There is poverty as a structural failing, epidemics, human trafficking, various kinds of violence (ethnic violence included), and terrorism. The international community is searching for ways to solve these problems. Quite a large number of sectors are covered by the activities of the different United Nations Commissions such as the UN Human Rights Council, Commission on sustainable Development, the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women etc. Furthermore, if the state is willing to ensure its residents’ security, more and more often it has to take action outside its borders, for instance, in the form of various missions. Some threats go far beyond conventional threats, e.g. in the cyberspace. The trends in world politics, armed conflicts and humanitarian intervention strengthened the attempts to solve different problems. It was a basic reason why the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security (UNTFHS)was founded in 1999 and finances activities carried out by UN organizations; they define human security as a “dynamic and practical policy framework for addressing widespread and cross-cutting threats facing Governments and people” and “all individuals, in particular vulnerable people, are entitled to freedom from fear and freedom from want, with an equal opportunity to enjoy all their rights and fully develop their human potential”[16]. The UNTFHS presents strategic ways to solve different challenges based on the “Human Security Unit Strategic Plan 2014-2017”[17] and creating a new interdisciplinary conception about human security activities and their implementation in the politic life of the international community.

Human security is based on 3 aspects: International Humanitarian Law, Human Rights, and the Responsibility to Protect concept. The international law is a so-called ‘law of nations’, and it is a regulator of international community’s activities.

As for the Responsibility to Protect concept, it embodies the idea of a state’s duty to protect its residents. However, as a matter of practice, it is quite often that countries, especially those of the great powers, do not adhere to international law, which causes humanitarian crises in different parts of the world.[18] The task of human security is to generate efficient law mechanisms that would influence states’ actions. The key questions that human security raises are: how to secure human rights? How and when to exercise the right to use force when solving conflicts? The monopoly of the right to use force belongs to the United Nations Security Council, which is supposed to use it in situations of an extraordinary threat to international peace, and when an act of aggression has been committed. Also, the Security Council can delegate authority to undertake repressive actions to regional institutions (Article 53).[19] The ban on one state proffering threats of using force towards another state is one of the basics of international relations.

Theoretically, the states participating in the international sphere should strive for stability and peace on both the local and international levels, yet, when national interests check into the game, the states declare adherence to the international law on the one hand, but just breach the law on the other hand.

It is necessary to consider the fact that every state has a right to the inviolability of its territory, and the right of self-defense, which is stated in Charter UN (Article 5).[20] A problem arises: in what cases does the international community have the right to interfere with the state’s actions? The answer might be as follows: in cases of aggression towards another state, a threat to international peace, and major violation of human rights. Nonetheless, there are no clearly defined limits for the massiveness of human right violations. It’s undermines the authority of and trust in the international organizations, sets precedents that lead to global consequences in the field of international law.

The Situation in Ukraine

Military conflicts which have not been solved become a threat to human security, and point in practice to a certain weakness of the international organizations.[21] A striking example is Russia’s aggression towards Ukraine, the annexation of Crimea and the war in Donbas that has been in progress since 2014. Avoided to be seems extremely one-sideare few comment of those facts are needed.

The aggression of Russia to Ukraine has two sides – military-political and humanitarian. If we compare the principles of International Law and the actions of Russia as for Ukraine we will see that Russia violated the rights of Ukraine as a sovereign subject of international law, that is the principle of the territorial integrity, they interfered in internal affairs, threatened to apply the power, made the act of aggression against Ukraine, that is applied the power by using the armed forces and annexed the part of the territory (Autonomic Republic of Crimea). According to the United Nation Charter, the principle of sovereignty is a customary international right. The annexation of Crimea by using armed forces is the breaking of rights of international law called ius cogens, that is a direct duty of the UN membership. The actions of Russia Federation in eastern Ukraine are the acts of ordinary aggression. The problem is that the example of Russia can be a negative precedent to other countries which will want to review the established borders. For example, for numerous violations Russia can be dismissed from the UN according to the UN Charter norms (Ch.2, Art.6)[22] Іt is clear that this is breaking of the international law (such as The Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances,among others 10 articles in Helsinki Accords,a, b,c, d, e, g Article3, UnitedNationResolution № 3314, International Humanitarian Law:

 

TheblockadeoftheportsorcoastsofaStatebythearmedforcesofanotherState)

(“The sending by or on behalf of a State of armed bands, groups, irregulars or mercenaries, which carry out acts of armed force against another State of such gravity as to amount to the acts listed above, or its substantial involvement therein.)Art 3 (G) № 3314[23]

Vladimir Putin, the president of the Russian Federation, manipulated peoples’ right of self-determination and called the annexation of Crimea an act of defending the Russian-speaking residents of the peninsula. He referred to the Responsibility to Protect concept as the ground for the intervention of Russian troops into eastern Ukraine, that is the necessity to defend Russian citizens and Russian-speaking residents. It is clear that this is an absolute breach of international law (among others 10 articles in The Helsinki Accords, The Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, The Constitution of Ukraine, The Constitution of Crimea and human rights during the conflict), as the membership of a certain linguistic group does not imply state citizenship. Military actions in Donbas have furthermore led to a humanitarian crisis in the Russian-occupied territories.

The key violations on the part of Russia caused by the war are the annexation of Crimea and the violations of Ukrainian – sovereignty, its borders and territories. In the course of Russian aggression towards Ukraine, major violations of human rights have occurred, the following in particular: forced relocation the residents of Crimea and the eastern part of Ukraine; turning residents into refugees, ethnic discrimination (Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars), linguistic discrimination (Ukrainian-speaking people), illegal eviction, appropriation of property, deliberate warfare against civilians, (which caused numerous victims among them) breach of humanitarian law, torturing Ukrainian military servicemen and prisoners, forced acquisition of Russian citizenship under the threat of punishment, acts of violence, crimes, kidnapping, forced labor, violation of the inviolability of journalists and medical staff.[24][25]

 The list can go further, but even now it points to the large scale of human rights violations. In situations like this, imposing sanctions on Russia is not exactly an efficient means to solve the conflict. The Russian-Ukrainian struggle demonstrates how fragile the international law is and how Russia continuously persists in breaking it. The case of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict has been called ‘the war of the 3rdmillennium’ which aims at destroying mental and cultural identity of the territorial community. It is a new challenge for Ukraine as well as for the entire international community. Russia has subverted the international order, which it had previously promised to protect. It is another evidence of the global failure of both human rights enforcement and human security in general.

The conflict between Ukraine and Russia caused a deficit of humanitarian security. To increase the level of the humanitarian security in Ukraine it is necessary to realize a few aspects. First, these are the new legal documents both at the international and state level. They could regulate the issue of applying the power in crisis situations, the prerogative of which belongs to the United Nations Security Council. With this purpose the international community may not create new but review already existing documents in international law. Second, this is the activity of international and national non-governmental organizations, which task is the monitoring of the current situation in Ukraine and informing the international community, attracting attention to the existing problems. The Red Cross, The Maltese Service and other organizations occupy an important place. They conduct important humanitarian actions and promote international humanitarian cooperation. Third, this is the activity of Ukrainian society in the direction of creating and developing civil society. An active part of Ukrainians realize this idea in the volunteer movement, which we can call without exaggeration the key success after the Revolution of Dignity. Yes, the volunteering movement managed to rise the Ukrainian army to combat level, which had been in the decline at the beginning of the annexation of Crimea, which caused the lack of armed resistance. However, already in August 2014, the potential was renewed and the Ukrainian army achieved combat capability. Nowadays there are several public initiatives: the help of settlers and their families, free juridical consultations, courses of the first aid, tactical medicine etc. In total the volunteering movement for the needs of Ukrainian army has 15 thousand people. Only an improved personal position for every Ukrainian and the rise of the legal culture in the country can be a contribution to the rise of the Ukrainian humanitarian level.

Conclusion

Global security in the world can be ensured by means of the development of each and every country through the supremacy of the law in international relations. Human rights have made the human being the subject of international relations. Enforcement of human rights on all levels such as daily-life level, civilian, and international, is the guarantee of human security and stable legal relations. The means of securing human rights in critical situations are human rights enforcement by the states, the military, by stabilization and peace-support missions, and through a search for mechanisms to the implementation of international law into the practice of states. The increase in the level of legal education in the post-Soviet countries, raising public awareness about the value of human rights is of specifically high importance. In Ukraine, these elements are crucial for democratic reforms and the construction of civil society, and voluntary movements and NGOs do make significant steps towards the achievement of these goals.

References

  1. Buzan B., New Patterns on Global Security in the Twenty-First Century, International Affairs, 67.3, 1991
  2. Falk R., Humanitarian Intervention and Legitimacy Wars. Seeking Peace and Justice in the 21st Century, Routledge, London and New York, 2015
  3. Kuźniar R., Prawa człowieka. Prawo, instytucje, stosunki międzynarodowe, Wydanie trzecie, uzupełnione, Fundacja Studiów Międzynarodowych, Wydawnictwo Naukowe SCHOLAR, Warszawa, 2004
  4. Mero, The Humanization of International Law, Martinus Nijhoff Publisher, The Hague, 2006
  5. Walt S.M.n T., International Relations. One World, Many Theories, Foreign Policy No. 110, Special Edition: Frontiers of Knowledge (Spring 1998), pp. 29-30 (Published by the Slate Group, a Division of the Washington Post Company)
  6. Zięba R., Instytucjonalizacja bezpieczeństwa europejskiego. Koncepcje – struktury – funkcjonowanie, Wydanie czwarte poprawione i rozszerzone, Wydawnictwo Naukowe SCHOLAR, Warszawa, 2004, op.cit.

Internet sources 

The United Nations Documentations

The International Committee of the Red Cross, The Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols

The International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement

The United Nations, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)

The United Nations Human Rights, The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

The Council of Europe, The Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

The European Commission, EU Charter of Fundamental Rights

The National Institute for Strategic Studies, The Social Security: Essence and Measurement

The National Institute for Strategic Studies, The Humanitarian National Security Complex

The United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security

The United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security, The Human Security Unit, Strategic Plan 2014-2017

The United Nations Codification Division Publication, Carter of UN, Chapter 8 – Regional arrangements

The United Nations Codification Division Publication, Carter of UN, Chapter 2 – Membership

The United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3314, Definition of Aggression

The Chapter of the United Nations and Statute of the International Court of Justice

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Report on the Human Rights situation in Ukraine 17 August 2014

 

Endnotes

[1] Zięba R., Instytucjonalizacja bezpieczeństwa europejskiego.Koncepcje – struktury – funkcjonowanie, Wydanie czwarte poprawione i rozszerzone, Wydawnictwo Naukowe SCHOLAR, Warszawa, 2004, op.cit.

[2] Walt S.M., International Relations. One World, Many Theories, Foreign Policy No. 110, Special Edition: Frontiers of Knowledge (Spring 1998), pp. 29-30 (Published by the Slate Group, a Division of the Washington Post Company).

[3] Kuźniar R., Bezpieczeństwo w stosunkach międzynarodowychW: E. Haliżak., R. Kuźniar, Stosunki międzynarodowe. Geneza, struktura, dynamika, 2006, p. 143.

[4] “Security is taken to be about the pursuit of freedom from threat and the ability of states and societies to maintain their independent identity and their functional integrity against forces of change, which they see as hostile. The bottom line of security is survival” Buzan B., New Patterns on Global Security in the Twenty-First Century, The Royal Institute of International Affairs, Blackwell Publishing, 67.3, 1991, pp. 432-433.

[5] The United Nations Documentations

[6] The International Committee of the Red Cross, The Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols

[7] The International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement

[8] The United Nations, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)

[9] The United Nations Human Rights, The International Covenant on Civil and Political Right

[10] The Council of Europe, The Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

[11] The European Commission, EU Charter of Fundamental Rights

[12] Kuźniar R., Prawa człowieka. Prawo, instytucje, stosunki międzynarodowe, Wydanie trzecie, uzupełnione, Fundacja Studiów Międzynarodowych, Wydawnictwo Naukowe SCHOLAR, Warszawa, 2004, p. 12

[13] Ibidem, p. 244-245.

[14] The National Institute for Strategic Studies, The Social Security: Essence and Measurement

[15] The National Institute for Strategic Studies, The Humanitarian National Security Complex

[16] United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security

[17] United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security, The Human Security Unit, Strategic Plan 2014-2017

[18] Meron T., The Humanization of International Law, Martinus Nijhoff Publisher, The Hague, 2006

[19] The United Nations Codification Division Publication, Carter of UN, Chapter 8 – Regional arrangements

[20] The United Nations Codification Division Publication, Carter of UN, Chapter 2 – Membership

[21] Falk R., Humanitarian Intervention and Legitimacy Wars. Seeking Peace and Justice in the 21st Century, Routledge, London and New York, 2015

[22] The United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3314, Definition of Aggression

[23] The Chapter of the United Nations and Statute of the International Court of Justice

[24] The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Report on the Human Rights situation in Ukraine 17 August 2014

[25]The Guardian, Ukraine: kidnapped observers paraded by pro-Russian gunman in Slavyansk

Viorella Manolache (ed.), Centru si margine la Marea Mediterana. Filosofie politica si realitate internationala (Bucharest: Editura ISPRI, 2009)

This journal has proven a wide opening to a great diversity of recurrent themes present now within political sciences. Certain “marginal” areas of interdisciplinary investigation are also present, included in this same broad philosophical view. The volume maintains precisely this type of innovative ambitions and the manner of relating to contemporary tendencies as the journal, hence approaching through its several original studies select newer theoretical concepts adequate to the complexities associated with the research of the chosen theme. These studies are coming from different scientific areas. Estimating the present geo-political research of the Mediterranean community, it endeavours to enter into a dialogue within the Mediterranean scientific community. Center-Margin at the Mediterranean Sea (Political Philosophy and International Reality) accesses scientific contributions from seven countries (Romania, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, Brazil, USA, Italy) providing a rich mix of theoretical and philosophical comparative, international and transnational issues, addressed to all who are interested in the contemporary political Mediterranean phenomena. The three constant investigated dimensions are placed into a dynamic formula described by the three parts of the volume: Political philosophy of Mediterranean Centre and Margin; Cultural approaches on the Mediterranean Margin and International Reality at the Mediterranean Sea.

 

The volume is integrated within a theoretical landscape and is justified by the anticipative answer offered by the authors to a series of variables with which the imperative of the current European politics operates, of the “maps projecting the macro regions” – a decentralized space of cooperation. The volume anticipates the conclusions of the European Council (June 24, 2011) which counts especially on the coincidence of culture and creative industries, on the capitalization of historical, linguistic and, in general, cultural diversity, and also on the application of a macro-regional strategy. All these dimensions illustrate the potential of catalyst of the “Union for the Mediterranean area”.

 

The volume’s approach indicates significant insights, pre-figurations of the European imperatives correlated with the analysed theme, with a double effect: the analysis of the international implications of the Mediterranean space and of the considerations concerning soft power; and a withdrawal within the philosophical, theoretical and political framework that configure the dimensions of this profile. The approach is explained in the introductory chapter – Political Philosophy of Mediterranean Centre and Margin.

 

According to Abderrazzak Essrhir, the idea of the centre is the indicative of the systematic invention of a peripheral space – racial, geographical, religious, cultural – resulting in a binary opposition that is the outcome of reciprocal experiences between the centre and its assumed periphery. It is in this very context that the relations between the East and the West can rightly be appreciated to have always been conducted, marked by conquest, demystification, subjection, or colonial confinement. The centre assumes in this perspective a position wherein it perceives itself as the nucleus of authority and power, the source of emanation of knowledge, the cradle of high culture and civilisation. The margin, as a consequence, turns out to be a mere indication of that “positioning is best defined in terms of the limitations of a subject’s access to power.” It is, in this respect, perceived, and indeed made to be, as the consumer, the dependent, the subaltern, or the anarchic space. This type of centre-margin binary opposition is multi-dimensional in the sense that the centre, conscious of its identity, systematically locates and confines its margin by devising a set of strategic practices such as othering, ethnic categorisation, subjugation, and discrimination (Abderrazzak Essrhir).

 

For Abdenbi Sarroukh, the question that arises is whether the new U.N partnership will contribute to the blossoming of at least a positive Mediterranean pluralism that goes beyond the borders of the nationalism that is still recast in ethnic identities, so as to reshape them to conform to the new cultural exigencies. The author refers to the universal values that tend to homogenise specificities and the spirit of communities that are irreducible and resist being explained away by the power of discourse from the point of view of the dominating centre.

 

The historical registration appears as architecture and even as a film of the Mediterranean space diving into the discourse of postmodernity as post-tradition, either rebuilding the cultural referential of the marginal discourse of the Mediterranean space – a system of indexes, emblems, constituents of a typical language that asks for deciphering, first and foremost politically speaking, in order to deserve to be termed of a Mediterranean polis  (Viorella Manolache), or the investigation of the communicational ethical and political implications of this fascination of the interlocutor via Richard Rorty, Jean Baudrillard or Simon Critchley (Henrieta ?erban).

 

The chapter Cultural Approaches on the Mediterranean Margin reaffirms the dependence of the imaginary on the mise-en-place of a very special Mediterranean syntax. The relationships between the “full and signifying forms” and the “determinations” of symbolical images, conferring them a “particularizing function” are emphasized (Gheorghe Manolache), within an analysis that employs essential (proto)types (present in the works of Eugen Lovinescu, Anton Naum – e.g. the Don Juanic character, Ulysses –, or Vasco da Gama). These profiles express the metaphoric idea that the waters of the Mediterranean space have a vocation of refrain: they are always the ones which bring boats, and invite the analyst to imagine Ulysses abandoned on the rocky shores of Portugal in distress; one sees Vasco da Gama directing his ships and people on the warm and quiet waters of the Mediterranean Sea, with an impact on the symbolic-cultural map of the countries washed by the Mediterranean waters. What remains behind is precisely what should happen: a silent revolt of the water and then, the numerous endless tides, the tides which charmed the sovereigns and awarded gold and glory, the waters of the bereaved bride named melancholy (Diana Adamek).

 

The philosophical and metaphorical level is completed by a more investigative and practical level in International Reality at the Mediterranean Sea that assesses the Mediterranean space as one of the important geopolitical and geostrategic pivots in world history. The geopolitical and geostrategic significance of the Mediterranean realm is not quite constant along the entire history of the region. For a while, the geopolitical and geostrategic significance of the Mediterranean decreased, because the “center” of the world gradually glided to the Atlantic. But, starting with the opening stages of the Cold War, the geostrategic importance of the Mediterranean realm grew again, a trend which is still maintained to a certain extent nowadays as well, in the context of the so-called ‘clash of civilizations’ and of the global war against terror. Other important events, connected with the war in the Caucasus region, prove again – similarly to the era of the Cold War – how important is for the West to control the Mediterranean Sea, and how ambitious post-communist Russia already is on the international arena (Florin Diaconu).

 

In this analytical key, the international realities operating in the Mediterranean space raise the question of how culture and identity contribute to the lasting peace, facing the geopolitical context and the efforts of a generation of intellectuals who have implemented this idea by building a unique and successful structure such as the European Union. It is thus important to examine the possibility of designing a community of security in the Mediterranean region through economic growth, with the contribution of this regional culture, without which any construction will be only short-lived and deprived of depth (Lucian Jora).

 

Beyond this snapshot of the main dimensions of the volume Center-Margin at the Mediterranean Sea (Political Philosophy and International Reality), one can easily identify the need to re-evaluate in a more complex light the Mediterranean space, accepting a cultural and reconciliatory mental map – a matrix where the Mediterranean space does not cease to provide to an equal extent, both philosophies and realities.