Norway-Russia Disaster Diplomacy in the High North and Arctic

This summer the Norwegian Research Council project granted a CIEM project on Disaster diplomacy. This project uses Norway-Russia relations on, for, and around Svalbard to examine how dealing with disasters may be used more in the Arctic and the High North to foster links between Norway and Russia.

Norway-Russia Disaster Diplomacy in the High North and Arctic
Longyearbyen, Svalbard. Photo:Ilan Kelman

Ilan Kelman, adjunct professor with UIA is project mananger for the 2 year project and professor Christian Webersik will also take part. 

Disaster risks are expected to increase across the Arctic as more people move to the region, as more infrastructure is built, as economic activities expand, and as the environment continues changing. With these changes, fears over disputes and conflicts have been voiced including with respect to Norway-Russia relations. Svalbard epitomises the situation, challenges, and opportunities with regards to disaster-related conflict and cooperation. One approach for examining cross-border disaster-related activities is disaster diplomacy. Disaster diplomacy examines how dealing with disasters does and does not impact diplomatic collaboration. This project uses Norway-Russia relations on, for, and around Svalbard to examine how dealing with disasters might or might not be used more in the Arctic and the High North to foster links between Norway and Russia.

Project partners are:
University College London (UCL)
IMEMO (Primakov National Research Institute of world economy and international relations, Russian Academy of Sciences), Russia
Sampo Energy, Russia
Sigra
The University centre in Svalbard, UNIS