Maritime security in the High North : Swedish and Icelandic responses to new Arctic shipping opportunities
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to compare how the issue of new shipping opportunities in theArctic region is tackled and met by the governments of Sweden and Iceland when it comes tomaritime security regime building, and to set this into perspective by looking at the shippingindustry’s seemed aspirations and interests for Arctic shipping, the latter to see if policy and“reality” appear to be corresponding. By conducting a qualitative comparative analysisthrough studying previous research, government documents and through interviewingrepresentatives from the shipping industry; using the analytical framework of Regime Theoryfor International Relations; the following research questions have been answered: - In what ways do the governments of Sweden and Iceland contribute to developments of Arctic maritimesecurity regimes, due to new shipping opportunities in the High North? - Are these contributions in line with the shipping industry’s views of and aspirations for Arctic shipping? - (How) does this differ between the countries? - (How) does the shipping industry contribute to maritime security? Sweden and Iceland differ in many aspects, but the general aims at environmental protectionare visible in both countries. Iceland has a larger focus on crisis response due to its locationalexposure and do moreover have a chance on economically exploiting new shipping activitiesfor the same reason. Sweden can be said to have a more general approach to Arctic maritimesecurity, whereas Iceland rather focuses on its own proximity.Both countries’ responses to Arctic shipping are currently to be seen as in line with theshipping industry’s views and aspirations for Arctic shipping.The shipping industry contributes to maritime security by developing new methods andtechnology for addressing the Arctic ice; collectively and on shipping company individualbasis. The shipping industry furthermore contributes by educating ship commanders as well assharing experiences and knowledge with each other.
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