Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 103

103 Arctic Yearbook 2015 current hegemonic collective identity narrative has emerged, while the individual cases have been emphasised by Naalakkersuisut’s (the Government of Greenland) annual foreign policy reports. The three analyses will make visible how the designation of an external threat to the cultural traditions and the envisioned future with more independence, have been used to legitimise a claim for extraordinary rights with regard to whaling and more lenient CO2 reduction requirements. This double perspective on a common heritage and an anticipated future reflects the tension between tradition and modernity within the collective identity narrative, as tradition signals status quo while development means change. This is also visible on the international level where the official communication oscillates between portraying Greenlanders as either a minority or an equal partner depending on the situation; something which may be an intentional strategy or a transitory phenomenon as a result of the relatively recent transition from home rule to self-government. The paper is theoretically inspired by Ole Wæver’s discursive approach to foreign policy analysis and his understanding of foreign policy as based on a state’s self-image. Empirically, the author’s curiosity has been stimulated by an interesting sentence on the webpage of Greenland’s Foreign Affairs Department. Here it is written that Greenland’s foreign policy competence is regulated by three measures: the Constitutional Act of Denmark, the Act on Greenland Self Government and practice (Naalakkersuisut.gl n.d.). The fact that practice is also a regulatory factor indicates that the legal frameworks may be open to interpretation, hence leaving a ‘window of opportunity’ for Greenland to achieve a more autonomous foreign policy. But why then focus on how a collective identity narrative has been articulated internationally? Besides the theoretical inspiration, statements such as the following by the former Premier Aleqa Hammond have stimulated the curiosity. In her first opening speech of Inatsisartut (Greenland’s parliament) she stated: Greenland’s active participation internationally contributes to the drawing of attention to Greenlandic interests and also to attract investments to the development in Greenland. But it also signals that no one can step on us or override Greenland’s interests. It provides the backbone; it gives pride. The individual citizen may also use this to strengthen one’s self-awareness. As a people it can strengthen our culture, selfawareness and self-perception (Hammond 2013: 3. Author’s translation). This statement shows a clear connection between the collective identity narrative and the development of international relations. What is, however, conspicuous is the lacking definition of what characterises the collective identity; what exactly is it that is possibly threatened or strengthened? To give an adequate answer to this question, this paper refers to exemplary historical analyses of the emergence of a collective Greenlandic identity and to articulations by the political parties in Inatsisartut. Together with a short introduction to Wæver’s theoretical approach, these findings are necessary as basis for the foreign policy analysis, and will, thus, be presented on the following pages. Analytical strategy: foreign policy as representation and protection of a collective identity Ole Wæver’s discourse theoretical approach to foreign policy analysis observes a country’s foreign affairs as being based on a specific identity representation, whose contingent composition is what defines the state’s self-image (Wæver 2001: 285). This image is dependent on a dichotomy between Jacobsen