High North - low tension? A case study of the Norwegian-Russian bilateral relation in the Arctic through the theoretical lens of securitisation

University essay from Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: The High North has gained a top priority position on the Norwegian political and security agenda in a context of the Arctic region’s growing geopolitical importance. As a result of this, Norway deems that it is ‘necessary’ to maintain close bilateral relations with Russia as some issues in the Arctic region can only be solved through bilateral cooperation. However, this important bilateral dimension to Norway’s High North policy is to a large degree dependent on how Russia gets along with NATO, the European countries and the US. This thesis is carried out as an idea analysis of the Norwegian government speeches and statements stretching from 2008 to 2014. The speeches are analysed through the theoretical lens of securitisation with the aim to determine if Russia’s actions in international relations are representing a threat to the organisational stability of the bilateral relations. Three dimensions were analysed: the legal framework, issues in the Arctic region solved through a bilateral approach and the climate of cooperation. The results showed signs of a securitisation-move that can be traced back to Russia’s actions.

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