The High North pp 195-236 | Cite as

The High North: Potential Conflict or an Opportunity?



The end of the Cold War brought a change in the perception of the Northern Areas and the Arctic is undergoing a significant transformation caused mostly by the climate change and globalization. An additional and very significant consequence of the changes is the increased interest in the Arctic by global players. It could be stated that the growing interest is generated by new economic opportunities related to commercial maritime transport, development of oil and gas deposits, mining, fisheries, and tourism. The natural results are closer economic and geopolitical relations between the Arctic and the rest of the world. Many observers perceive this development as a source of growing conflict because of competition related to control over the natural resources of the region. Others are very concerned about the consequences of the increasing integration of the Arctic with the global system of advanced industrialized society whose current lifestyle cannot possibly be considered sustainable. It seems also quite clear that the Arctic cannot follow its own original way of development which would be independent from the global power system. The Arctic is no longer an isolated or a distant region. It is a member of the global community, basically susceptible to global changes, and an area frequently in the very center of the world’s attention. Increased global interest is a potential source of conflicts between the need for discoveries and exploitation, and the requirements of protection. All these parallel activities demand very efficient management and all these challenges must be met.


Region of change Environmental protection Uniqueness of Arctic Independence of Arctic Comprehensive approach 


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jan Kochanowski UniversityKielcePoland

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