Publication Date

Spring 5-23-2012

Degree Name

MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

First Advisor

Tatsushi Arai

Abstract

Over the past decade, the Arctic region has received increased attention from climate scientists, politicians, and transnational corporations. Human-induced climate change is causing glaciers to recede, resulting in new northern sea passages that are highly sought after by businesses and governments alike. Deeply affected by this increased northern exposure are Arctic Fourth World nations – politically and culturally distinct nations encapsulated by states – that have lived in the Arctic for millennia. This paper examines the impacts that expanded northern sea routes are having on Arctic Fourth World nations and the conflict mitigation approaches being used in the region. Research was conducted while working for the Center for World Indigenous Studies, a Fourth World nation research and education organization. Primary data was collected through participant observation during the COP 17 United Nations Convention on Climate Change in December 2011, and from an extensive literature review of Fourth World theory and Arctic geopolitics. Data was analyzed from the perspective of Fourth World theory in the hopes of building upon this critical analysis of geopolitical phenomena.

Disciplines

Biodiversity | International Relations | Nature and Society Relations | Other International and Area Studies | Political Theory | Social and Cultural Anthropology