ZOiS Forum

The Arctic: Potential for Conflict and Cooperation

Arctic landscape in the Russian oblast Murmansk at the border with Norway. © Nadir Kinossian

The Arctic is a little-known region in the public perception, but it is by no means unresearched. It is a region of extremes, strongly impacted by global climatic changes in recent decades. As the Arctic icecap melts, the region is becoming more accessible. The deposits of natural resources thought to lie in the Arctic sea area are thus gaining in significance, as are fishing and the use of shipping routes (keyword: Northwest Passage). In 2007, Russia – the largest Arctic littoral state – grabbed media attention when it planted a Russian flag on the seafloor at the North Pole, underscoring the region's geostrategic importance. On the other hand, the littoral states have been working together in the Arctic Council for more than 20 years. In the ZOiS Forum, we will look at the various opportunities for cooperation and identify some of the impending conflicts of interest in this region through an interdisciplinary lens, with a focus on security, environmental and anthropological aspects.

If you need a translation into sign language, please contact us two weeks prior to the event: events(at)zois-berlin(dot)de.


A playground in the city of Zapolyarny in the Russian Murmansk Oblast. © Nadir Kinossian
  • Dr Christoph Humrich is an Assistant Professor at the University of Groningen. A political scientist, he researches resource conflicts and cooperation potential in the Arctic.
  • Dr Heidi Kassens is a researcher at the Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel. She is currently working on a joint project between Russian and German research institutions on the impact of climate change in the Arctic.
  • Dr Nadir Kinossian is a researcher at the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography (IfL). He has explored the Arctic as a cultural landscape where Finland, Norway and Russia meet.
  • Chair: Dr Volker Weichsel is a political scientist and editor of Osteuropa magazine.

The event is part of the series ZOiS Forum.

The ZOiS Forum brings together academic, artistic, and political perspectives on the issues driving Eastern Europe today. Our aim is to make the significance and variety of our region of research accessible to a broad audience. Readings, discussions, presentations, and film screenings take place once a month during the semester.