Nordia Geographical Publications (Jan 2011)

Cooperation in the High North: the case of Iceland

  • Gustav Pétursson

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 40, no. 4


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The melting of the Arctic ice is opening new shipping routes through the Arctic; thus making Arctic resources more accessible. The opening up of the High North and its increasing strategic importance, means that Iceland, like other Arctic countries, must find ways to deal with risks and threats associated with these changes. Unlike the Cold War period, when Iceland was mostly concerned with traditional military security; it is now faced with multi-dimensional security risks and threats, in areas covering military-; political-; economic-; societal-; and environmental security (Buzan et al. 1998). Many of them are problems that Iceland is not able to solve by it self and therefore needs to cooperate with external actors to meet these challenges. Iceland can seek to respond to these threats and risks through the Arctic Council the European Union, as well as NATO.