Arctic sustainability

The Arctic is being rapidly transformed with the expansion of globalisation, climate change, changes in energy policy, as well as changing population structure. During the past decade, all the Arctic states developed special policy programs aimed at developing their Arctic economies, while the global community is closely following the receding ice and pondering their future involvement. Yet, is such development sustainable? And what is sustainability in the Arctic? Through interdisciplinary work that builds on policy studies, economics, geospatial and geophysical research, this project seeks to review the multitude of aspects of the Arctic sustainability and develop methodologies that will allow to assess the effectiveness of various policy measures.

Related publications

Russia’s Far North: The Contested Energy Frontier (2018 – editor)

The Russian Far North is immensely rich in resources, both energy and other resources, and is also one of the least developed regions of Russia. This book presents a comprehensive overview of the region. It examines resource issues and the related environmental problems, considers the Arctic and the problems of sea routes, maritime boundaries and military build-up, assesses economic development, and considers the ethnic peoples of the region and also cultural and artistic subjects. Overall, the book provides a rich appraisal of how the region is likely to develop in future.

The impact of the Polar Code on risk mitigation in Arctic waters: a “toolbox” for underwriters? (2018)

How can marine insurances exploit the Polar Code it in their work within the emerging Arctic market? This article conceptualizes the  Polar Code as a “toolbox” for underwriters. At the moment, we observe a certain “Polar Code paradox”. Even though the PC is a risk-based instrument and constitutes a key step for improving ship insurability, it has only limited capacity to assist underwriters in assessing risks and insuring vessels.

Telling domestic and international policy stories: The case of Russian Arctic policy (2018)

What are the differences in the ways how Russian government communicates its Arctic policy aspirations to the domestic and foreign audiences? These two lines of political communication are framed very differently. Internally, the Arctic is a source of ‘great powerness’, while externally it is a matter of sovereign interest.

Planning for a sustainable Arctic: Regional development in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug (Russia) (2018)


Policy environment analysis for Arctic seaport development: the case of Sabetta (Russia) (2017)

What determines the development of Arctic seaports? This study argues that given the specificity of operational conditions in the Arctic, as well as the expectations of the resource-driven future transformations, the conventional port development models cannot accurately depict factors of Arctic port activity. It puts forward a structuration approach focusing on how four dimensions of the policy environment (physical, economic, institutional, and environmental) enable and constrain policy choices available to a port authority. Application of this model to the case of Sabetta, a deep-sea multi-functional port constructed in the Ob estuary of the Yamal peninsula (Russia), demonstrates the inextricable links between actions and institutions and pinpoints the high level of uncertainty in Arctic port development.

Vodka on ice? Unveiling Russian media perceptions of the Arctic (2016)

How have the Russian Arctic policy agendas  been reflected in mainstream Russian media outlets? The research was based on modeling topic structures of three federal and three regional newspapers. The corpus was further divided in two periods (2011–2013 and 2014–2015) to account for the potential effect of the Ukrainian crisis on agenda-setting. Both federal and regional newspapers were found to have been mostly concerned with the development of hydrocarbon resources, as coverage of this topic was the largest during both periods. However, during the second period (2014–2015), the repercussions of the Ukrainian crisis were visible in toning down the matter of international cooperation.

Arctic energy: Resource colonialism revisited