Cold as Ice? A Study of The Arctic's Vulnerability to Conflict Spillover

Niels Anders Møldrup Petersen & Kristoffer Madsen Strandhauge

Studenteropgave: Speciale


The purpose of this thesis is to study whether the Arctic region is susceptible to conflict spillover from other regional conflicts. To accomplish this, the study focuses on two conflicts with the potential to spill over to the Arctic: the 2008 Russo-Georgian crisis and the 2014 Russo-Ukrainian crisis. The analysis compares changes to three different components of Arctic states’ behavior prior to, and post, each crisis. First, the procurements of Arctic military capabilities are measured. Second, the rhetoric in official Arctic policy papers are interpreted. Third, military exercises in the Arctic region are compared. Through this threefold analysis, the study sets out to confirm or reject two opposing hypotheses derived from John J. Mearsheimer’s Offensive Realism and Barry Buzan and Ole Wæver’s Regional Security Complex Theory respectively. According to Offensive Realism’s hypothesis, the two crises should result in conflict spillover to the Arctic. According to Regional Security Complex Theory’s hypothesis, the two crises should not result conflict spillover to the region. The thesis finds that the Arctic region did not experience conflict spillover following the Russo-Georgian crisis, while the Russo-Ukrainian crisis did lead to conflict spillover to the region.

UddannelserGlobal Studies, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato28 sep. 2017
Antal sider99
VejledereMichael Friederich Kluth


  • Arktis
  • Arctic
  • Regional Security Complex Theory
  • Conflict Spillover
  • Offensive Realism
  • International Relations
  • Ukraine Crisis
  • Georgia Crisis
  • Securitization