Stability and Security in a Post-Arctic World: Toward a Convergence of Indigenous, State and Global Interests at the Top of the World; Strategic Insights, v. 9, issue 2 (Fall 2010) pp. 79-101
Zellen, Barry S.
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The Arctic region has experienced a rapid transformation during the last few years as unprecedented ice melts caught ice scientists and climatologists by surprise, suggesting that a period of rapid climate change had arrived in the polar region, precipitating earlier and historically unprecedented ice melts—including the first opening of both the Northwest Passage in North America and the Northern Sea Route along the Eurasian Arctic coast. As these extreme changes to the Arctic landscape (transforming an icescape to a navigable maritime domain for part of the year) take place, there has been concern that a race for resources might precipitate a period of state conflict in the region. Increased economic, military and diplomatic activity in the Arctic will bring the long-isolated indigenous peoples of the Far North into closer and more frequent contact with the modern state, testing the new systems of self-governance conceptualized and negotiated in a more static time where traditional conditions of deep freeze had long been the norm. This paper will examine the political modernization of the Inuit and their integration into the political fabric of the modern state through a mosaic of bilateral land claims and self-government processes that more closely bind them to the states that lay sovereign claim to their homeland, and consider how the thawing of the long-frozen Arctic will affect them, and their new relationships with the modern states along the Arctic basin.
This article appeared in Strategic Insights, v.9, issue 2 (Fall 2010) pp. 79-101
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