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  • Arctic: The Next Great Game in Energy Geopolitics?

    As global warming and melting of the ice is making the Arctic increasingly accessible, the region’s hydrocarbon riches are attracting international interest. Thus far, despite the presence of vast untapped energy and mineral resources, the Arctic is not considered a geopolitical hotspot. In fact, many of the Arctic states have dismissed the possibility of conflict over the region’s spoils due to the collaborative governance model that has been established.

    November 2014

    Asian Stakes and Arctic Governance

    Building on stakeholder management theory, this article examines the salience of Asian stakes in three key areas of Arctic governance: management and use of natural resources; shipping; and environmental protection. The Asian states that are now permanent observers in the Arctic Council have significant stakes in Arctic governance, but their salience varies considerably across these issue areas.

    November 2014

    Jai asked: What benefits can India derive now being an observer state in the Arctic Council?

    Reply: Please refer to following publication/reports

    Uttam Kumar Sinha, “Climate Change Narratives: Reading the Arctic”, IDSA Monograph Series No 25, 2013;

    Arvind Gupta, “India's Gains from Arctic Council”, The New Indian Express, July 31, 2013;

    Sarabjeet Singh Parmar, “The Arctic: Potential for Conflict amidst Cooperation”, Debate, Strategic Analysis, Routledge, 37 (4), July 2013;

    Olav Schram Stokke, “The Promise of Involvement: Asia in the Arctic”, Debate, Strategic Analysis, 37 (4), July 2013;

    Ashlid Kolas, “Indigenous Rights, Sovereignty and Resource Governance in the Arctic”, Debate, Strategic Analysis, 37 (4), July 2013;

    Uttam Kumar Sinha, “The Arctic: An Antithesis”, Strategic Analysis, 37 (1), January 2013;

    Inaugural Address by Dr Arvind Gupta, Director General, IDSA at IDSA-PRIO Workshop on Global Governance and Resource Use: The Case of the Arctic, November 19, 2012;

    Report of IDSA-PRIO Workshop on Global Governance and Resource Use: The Case of the Arctic, November 19, 2012;

    Arvind Gupta, “Importance of Arctic Region”, The New Indian Express, June 28, 2012; and

    P.K. Gautam, “The Arctic as a Global Common”, IDSA Issue Brief, September 02, 2011.

    Video Presentation
    Brief Presentation on Arctic by Uttam Kumar Sinha, September 09, 2013

    Also, refer to an earlier reply by Uttam Kumar Sinha posted in this section, at

    Posted on March 03, 2014

    Climate Change Narratives: Reading the Arctic

    Climate Change Narratives: Reading the Arctic

    In an interconnected world with interlinked issues, understanding Climate Change and the Arctic and exploring the intersection between the two is extremely important. The monograph addresses Climate Change as a security risk; as a geopolitical orientation and as an energy challenge, and maps the impact of these narratives on the Arctic.


    Northern Sea Route: Humming with Activity

    As the ice thins in the Arctic, the commercial feasibility of the northern sea route is increasing rapidly. Five years ago there was no activity; this year about 1.5 million tonnes of cargo will be transported through the NSR.

    August 27, 2013

    Indigenous Rights, Sovereignty and Resource Governance in the Arctic

    While oil and gas industries are already well established in Siberia and Alaska, the melting of the Arctic ice cap is opening up new areas of the High North to hydrocarbon exploration. According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), the Arctic is expected to hold about 22 per cent of the world's undiscovered, technically recoverable conventional oil and natural gas resources (about 13 per cent of undiscovered oil reserves, 30 per cent of natural gas, and 20 per cent of natural gas liquids).

    July 2013

    Sailing through the Northern Sea Route: Opportunities and Challenges

    Because of global warming, the thinning ice in the Arctic is opening up the region for navigation for a few months in the summer season. The Arctic littoral countries (Canada, Norway, Denmark [Greenland], Russia and the United States), shipping companies and several other stakeholders (the EU and Asian countries such as China, Japan, Singapore and South Korea) are closely tracking shipping related developments in the Arctic and developing strategies to exploit the Northern Sea Route (NSR).

    July 2013

    Sovereignty is the Key to Russia's Arctic Policy

    It was the privately-sponsored Russian expedition to the North Pole in August 2007 that opened a new competitive era in Arctic geopolitics, and the technologically elegant PR-trick with planting the flag into the crisscross point of meridians on the depth of 4,261 m produced a resonance that distorted strategic thinking about, and political interactions in the Arctic region.

    July 2013

    The Barents Cooperation: Region-Building and New Security Challenges

    The Barents Euro–Arctic Region (BEAR), which in terms of land territory is one of the biggest international region-building projects in Europe, was established in 1993 to meet the new security challenges following the breakup of the Soviet Union and the opening up of the borders between East and West. Stretching over major parts of Northwest Russia and three Nordic countries, the region bridges areas, which for decades were heavily influenced by high Cold War tensions and deep social, economic and political cleavages.

    July 2013

    The Arctic: Potential for Conflict amidst Cooperation

    Changes in the Arctic topography due to climate change have resulted in the region, which erstwhile was remote with little accessibility, to being accessible with potential natural resources and attractive navigable sea areas. The prospects have also influenced the strategic contours of the Arctic and brought in many actors that view the region as a resource-rich area with viable commercial interests.

    July 2013