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edX

Arctic Security Fundamentals

University of Alaska Fairbanks via edX

Overview

The Arctic: a region of frigid waters, tundra, and prolonged periods of light and darkness. While it may seem desolate, the Circumpolar North holds a wealth of resources and opportunities for nations and the Indigenous peoples who live there. Many challenges also exist, including shipping management, oil and gas production, mining activities, fisheries management, protection of threatened species, and significant defense-related difficulties, to name a few. This course will provide a baseline understanding of security circumstances and management, as well as the variety of actors involved.

Arctic Security Fundamentals also explores the security situation of the Arctic through a focus on the key stakeholders responsible for diplomacy and defense. Although the post-Cold War Circumpolar North has remained mostly stable, rapid changes in climate and technology have created new conditions requiring increased attention and management.

Course participants will learn about the complex landscape of international norms and processes governing security in the Circumpolar North, as well as the balance of diplomacy and defense that nations employ to manage priority interests. Students will explore how the three realms of international relations—cooperation, competition, and conflict—interact in this unique environment.

This course is for:

  • Security specialists interested in learning more about the Circumpolar North

  • Members of defense-related institutes and organizations who want to know more about international security and/or the Arctic

  • Professionals in industries that rely upon Arctic resources and knowledge

  • Undergraduate and graduate students who hope to specialize in regional studies

Syllabus

Week 1:

  • Regional geography, governance, and economic circumstances

  • Regional diplomacy, both international and regional

Week 2

  • Arctic regional defense organizations, including domestic, bilateral and multilateral

Week 3:

  • The difficulties and importance of how and why regional security actors pursue and maintain cooperation

Week 4:

  • The difficulties and importance of identifying and defining competitive issues

Week 5:

  • How regional security actors manage competition

  • The defense disposition associated with the Arctic

Week 6:

  • Potential future security developments

Taught by

Troy Bouffard

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