RS Arctic: Governance & Security

Faculteit Letteren
Jaar 2021/22
Vakcode LYX068M10
Vaknaam RS Arctic: Governance & Security
Niveau(s) master
Voertaal Engels
Periode semester I

Uitgebreide vaknaam Research Seminar: Governance and Security in the Arctic
Leerdoelen Upon successful completion of the research seminars, a student is at least able to:

L1. Acquire, organize and apply knowledge about various aspects of the track specialisation(s) linked to the research seminar, as well as about the role of different actors within these fields. (PLO 1.1, 1.3, 2.3, 5.1)
L2. Develop a research plan with a clearly formulated problem definition, using one or more methods and techniques suitable for the research in the specific field of the specialisation track. (PLO 2.1, 2.2)
L3. Act self-reliant and reliable in the execution of the tasks belonging to this course unit, and execute tasks in a scientifically, socially and ethically responsible manner. (PLO 3.1)
L4. Critically assess research of oneself and of others. (PLO 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 5.2)
L5. Report on research choices and progress in a clear manner, with the help of ICT skills. (PLO 4.1, 4.3, 5.5)
L6. Express oneself in a clear and coherent manner, both in oral and in written/typed form, using understandable and correct English or Dutch. (PLO 4.1, 4.2, 4.3)

The PLO numbers correspond to the programme learning outcomes in the Teaching and Examination Regulations of the Master programme.
Omschrijving The research seminar focuses on security and governance in the Arctic, but does so explicitly also through the lens of geopolitics and connectivity. Through climate change the Arctic Ocean is opening up. This creates opportunities for new usage, but also respective challenges for the marine environment and Arctic security. It puts the Arctic at the middle of global connectivities, and increases global attention. The Arctic becomes a globalizing region and a region for global great power competition. How do the Arctic states and other actors react to that? What do their policies and politics look like? What are the geopolitical framings and settings of Arctic security and governance? How can we analyze and understand what is going on with the theoretical and methodological toolboxes IR provides us with?
We will answer these questions in six consecutive sessions and in own research work.
In the first introductory session the region and its states, certain security and governance aspects as well as the law of the sea as legal order for the Arctic Ocean will be introduced mostly by way of a lecture. This session lays the foundation for then engaging with five broader themes relating to the geopolitics of Arctic security and governance:
(1) sovereignty in the Arctic (maritime status and boundary disputes and resource conflicts),
(2) military security in the Arctic (strategic relevance and militarization)
(3) great power competition in the Arctic (China, Russia, and the US)
(4) Arctic human security, small states, and Arctic connectivity (Indigenous peoples, Iceland, Greenland)
(5) the geopolitics of Arctic governance for security and sustainability (the Arctic Council and other governance structures)
In each session the theme will be briefly introduced, and then analyzed with theoretical and conceptual tools from security studies, governance research, and geopolitical studies by way of discussing required reading.
In the five thematic sessions, issues will be dealt with mostly from a regional systemic and circumpolar perspective. The arctic policies of single states and non-state actors will be analyzed in a written assignment for which the student chooses one arctic actor and analyzes its policies from a self-chosen perspective.
For the research paper to be handed in at the end of the course, each student will conduct a theory-driven investigation into, or a detailed empirical analysis of an Arctic security or governance issue. The research process will be closely guided and the papers will be discussed in a research paper workshop after Christmas.
Having completed the seminar successfully, the students will know (a) Arctic security and governance challenges; (b) governance structures relevant to these challenges; (c) arctic actors’ major policies, and (d) analytical tools from security studies and governance research. The students will have learned to fruitfully apply these tools with two goals in mind: to help meeting practical challenges in the Arctic and to better understand security, governance and geopolitics in general.
Uren per week 3
Onderwijsvorm werkcollege
(Seminar starts in week 2)
Toetsvorm presentatie, schriftelijk tentamen, schriftelijke opdracht(en)
Vaksoort master
Coördinator dr. C. Humrich
Docent(en) dr. C. Humrich
Verplichte literatuur
Titel Auteur ISBN Prijs
Readings will be announced in the course guide. They can be downloaded from the University Library (free for RUG students)
Entreevoorwaarden Admission to the master IR.
Opmerkingen Students have to complete two research seminars. See for more information the ‘brochure research seminars’ available on the Online Study Guide Master IR It is not possible to register for a Research Seminar via Progress. You should submit your preferences for your Research Seminars from Monday 23 August 2021 12.00 hrs (noon) until Wednesday 1 September 2021 23.59 hrs (see enrolment form).

The IR department will do the utmost to place you in your preferred research seminars, but because of scheduling and overall availability of places in the research seminars we cannot guarantee you will be placed in your first choice.

After you have submitted your preferences, you will be registered in Progress for your Research Seminars before 10 September. Research Seminars start in the week of 13 September.

For this course attendance is mandatory.
Opgenomen in
Opleiding Jaar Periode Type
Course units for exchange students 4 semester I keuze
Ma Internationale Betrekkingen  ( International Relations and International Organization) 1 semester I keuze
Ma Internationale Betrekkingen  (Geopolitics & Connectivity) 1 semester I keuze
Ma Internationale Betrekkingen  (International Security) 1 semester I keuze