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The Future of Arctic Cooperation in a Changing Strategic Environment: A Report by RAND

The Polar Initiative is hosting the release of RAND's report, titled "The Future of Arctic Cooperation in a Changing Strategic Environment: Insights from a Scenario-Based Exercise Organized by RAND and Hosted by NUPI."

Date & Time

Jun. 8, 2018
2:00pm – 3:30pm


6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center
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The Future of Arctic Cooperation in a Changing Strategic Environment: A Report by RAND

In recent years, the Arctic has been increasingly described as a region of intensifying geostrategic competition. Though cooperation in the Arctic region remains strong, questions have emerged about how resilient it would be to major changes, some of which the region is already experiencing, and whether the current patterns of cooperation between nations would continue.

As the region's ice cover gets thinner and smaller in area due to rising temperatures, a number of factors could change the level of cooperation among countries interested in the Arctic region. These include resource-rich areas becoming accessible, increase in the usage of maritime sea routes by both commercial and military traffic, and the increase of new opportunities and elevated risks to coastal communities in the far north.

New RAND analysis presents the results of a table-top exercise that examined factors that could potentially upset Arctic cooperation in the 2020 decade, focusing on overlapping extended continental shelf claims, increased maritime activity, and maritime incidents. This exercise confirmed the solidity of Arctic cooperation, but also identified potential "wild cards" that could make negotiated solutions more difficult to reach.

Hosted By

Polar Institute

Since its inception in 2017, the Polar Institute has become a premier forum for discussion and policy analysis of Arctic and Antarctic issues, and is known in Washington, DC and elsewhere as the Arctic Public Square. The Institute holistically studies the central policy issues facing these regions—with an emphasis on Arctic governance, climate change, economic development, scientific research, security, and Indigenous communities—and communicates trusted analysis to policymakers and other stakeholders.  Read more


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