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Maxim Gutenev 1, Alexander Sergunin2
  • 1 South Ural State University, , 76 Lenin Avenue, Chelyabinsk, 454080, Russia
  • 2 St. Petersburg State University, 1/3 Smolnogo str., St. Petersburg, 191060, Russia

Russia’s Arctic Science Diplomacy:Theory and Practice

2022. Vol. 17. No. 3. P. 155–174 [issue contents]

Arctic science diplomacy (ASD) is both a relatively new topic and an acute issue in Russian academic and political circles. There is neither a clear definition of the concept nor a consensus on the stakeholders, tools, and activities of science diplomacy. This article focuses on the main approaches in Russia in relation to the concept of ASD. The first approach considers ASD as a soft power tool of regional players. Science diplomacy helps to promote a positive image of specific states and to gain access to non-state resources that are usually inaccessible to state actors. A technical/instrumentalist approach to ASD involves the use of academic and scientific-technical cooperation between regions, countries, and societies to create reliable international partnerships on a non-ideological basis and to solve generally significant world problems. The third direction considers ASD as a form of new diplomacy, the strategic goal of which is not only to build friendly relations and cooperation with all Arctic countries, but also to develop international scientific cooperation and improve the international image of Russia.

This analysis makes it possible to explain the strategic motives and driving forces of ASD and to identify the stakeholders and key forms of Russia’s ASD. It is established that the majority of the participants of ASD share the idea that international scientific cooperation in order to ensure the sustainable development of the Arctic can become an effective mechanism for solving the most acute problems of the region, as well as for improving the current relations of Western countries with Russia. The authors believe that Russia has largely managed to form the necessary platforms for the implementation of both strategic and tactical goals of its ASD. These platforms include both national platforms (the international forum “The Arctic: The Territory of Dialogue” and “The Arctic: Present and Future”) and the active use of international platforms (“Arctic Frontiers,” “Polar Circle,” and “Arctic Science Summit Week”) and organizations such as the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), the International Arctic Social Sciences Association (IASSA), and the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS).

The research was carried out with the financial support of the Russian Science Foundation in the framework of scientific projects No. 22-28-01287

Citation: Gutenev M., Sergunin A. (2022) Russia’s arctic science diplomacy: theory and practice. International Organisations Research Journal, vol. 17, no 3, pp. 155-174 (In English)
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