Greenland and the International Politics of a Changing Arctic: Postcolonial Paradiplomacy between High and Low Politics, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Greenland and the International Politics of a Changing Arctic

Postcolonial Paradiplomacy between High and Low Politics, 1st Edition

Edited by Kristian Søby Kristensen, Jon Rahbek-Clemmensen


164 pages | 4 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9780367362348
pub: 2019-08-31
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Hardback: 9781138061095
pub: 2017-10-16
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pub: 2017-10-10
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Greenland and the International Politics of a Changing Arctic examines the international politics of semi-independent Greenland in a changing and increasingly globalised Arctic. Without sovereign statehood, but with increased geopolitical importance, independent foreign policy ambitions, and a solidified self-image as a trailblazer for Arctic indigenous peoples’ rights, Greenland is making its mark on the Arctic and is in turn affected – and empowered – by Arctic developments.

The chapters in this collection analyse how a distinct Greenlandic foreign policy identity shapes political ends and means, how relations to its parent state of Denmark is both a burden and a resource, and how Greenlandic actors use and influence regional institutional settings as well as foreign states and commercial actors to produce an increasingly independent – if not sovereign – entity with aims and ambitions for regional change in the Arctic.

This is the first comprehensive and interdisciplinary examination of Greenland’s international relations and how they are connected to wider Arctic politics. It will be essential reading for students and scholars interested in Arctic governance and security, international relations, sovereignty, geopolitics, paradiplomacy, indigenous affairs and anyone concerned with the political future of the Arctic.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Greenland and the International Politics of a Changing Arctic: Postcolonial Paradiplomacy between High and Low Politics

Kristian Søby Kristensen and Jon Rahbek-Clemmensen

1. Setting the Scene in Nuuk: Introducing the Cast of Characters in Greenlandic Foreign Policy Narratives

Marc Jakobsen and Ulrik Pram Gad

2. Independence through International Affairs: How Foreign Relations Shaped Greenlandic Identity Before 1979

Jens Heinrich

3. Greenlandic Sovereignty in Practice: Uranium, Independence and Foreign Relations in Greenland between Three Logics of Security

Kristian Søby Kristensen and Jon Rahbek-Clemmensen

4. The Arctic Turn: How did the High North become a Foreign and Security Policy Priority for Denmark?

Jon Rahbek-Clemmensen

5. Lightning Rod: US, Greenlandic and Danish Relations in the Shadow of Post-colonial Reputations

Mikkel Runge Olsen

6. Chinese Investments in Greenland: Promises and Risks as Seen from Nuuk, Copenhagen and Beijing

Camilla T. N. Sørensen

7. The Politics of Economic Security: Denmark, Greenland and Chinese Mining Investment

Kevin Foley

8. The Divergent Scalar Strategies of the Greenlandic Government and the Inuit Circumpolar Council

Hannes Gerhardt

9. Greenland and the Arctic Council: Subnational Regions in a Time of Arctic Westphalianisation

Inuuteq Holm Olsen and Jessica M. Shadian

10. Materializing Greenland within a Critical Arctic Geopolitics

Klaus Dodds and Mark Nuttall

Conclusion: The Opportunities and Challenges of Greenlandic Paradiplomacy

Kristian Søby Kristensen and Jon Rahbek-Clemmensen

About the Editors

Kristian Søby Kristensen is Deputy Director and Senior Researcher at the Center for Military Studies, Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen. With a background in international relations, his academic interests are war and strategy, Arctic politics, Danish and European security and defence policy as well as issues of public safety and security.

Jon Rahbek-Clemmensen is Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science and Public Management at the University of Southern Denmark, where he is affiliated to the Center for War Studies. He holds a PhD in international relations (LSE) and has been affiliated to Columbia University and CSIS. His research interests include European security, Arctic politics, Danish foreign and security policy, and civil–military relations.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Polar Regions

The Routledge series in Polar Regions seeks to include research and policy debates about trends and events taking place in two important world regions, the Arctic and Antarctic. Previously neglected periphery regions, with climate change, resource development, and shifting geopolitics, these regions are becoming increasingly crucial to happenings outside these regions. At the same time, the economies, societies, and natural environments of the Arctic are undergoing rapid change. This new series seeks to draw upon fieldwork, satellite observations, archival studies, and other research methods which inform about crucial developments in the Polar regions. The series is interdisciplinary drawing on the work of anthropologists, geographers, economists, political scientists, botanists, climatologists, GIS and geospatial techniques specialists, oceanographers, earth scientists, biologists, historians, engineers, and many others. Topics within any of these disciplines or multidisciplinary research combining several disciplines are sought. They can focus on one region in the Arctic or Antarctic or all of either Polar region or both. The emphasis in the series is on linking cutting edge research in the Polar regions with the policy implications of the research findings.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Geography