Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 19

19 Arctic Yearbook 2015 commitments have earned legitimacy among the people(s) and the civil societies of the Arctic region, though the implementation could be faster. From a foreign policy and security perspective, it can also be argued that the interactions of Arctic governance agencies have provided an instrument that continues to serve the national interests of all regional state actors. Considered as a geostrategic hotspot during the Cold War era, the warming of East-West relations during the 1990s opened a foreign policy window of opportunity to push forward ideas, agendas and values that would strengthen regional state and sub-state confidence and prosperity in a very remote and complex area of the globe. Indeed, the Arctic has produced and has been shaped by governance efforts by regional state-to-state and people-to-people relationships that have arguably established and enhanced stability through diplomatic, scientific, and emerging economic, dialogue. From efforts to sustain scientific collaboration for common environmental imperatives, to recurrent post-Cold War regional and international networks and meetings dealing with non-military concerns between governments and non-governmental actors, Arctic governance is a rubric of ideas, ideals and actions that have resulted in numerous multilateral soft-power confidence building instruments that contribute to stability and security in a unique geographical and political area of the globe. As recently demonstrated by the compartmentalization of Arctic governance from other non-related geopolitical events (e.g. Ukraine-Russia crisis), states and non-governmental actors in the region have implicitly or explicitly expressed their common intention to preserve Arctic stability through multilateral softpower governance efforts. Intergovernmental cooperation under the auspices of the Arctic Council continues, as was the message from the ministerial meeting in April 2015 in Iqaluit (Iqaluit Declaration 2015). In addition, scientific cooperation in Arctic research is stronger than ever, as the ASSW 2015 and ICARP III in April 2015 in Toyama, Japan indicated (see Toyama Conference Statement 2015). The Arctic states and nations, including the Russian Federation and the USA, have too much at risk if they lose the high stability of the Arctic and the solid foundation for international cooperation that exists – put simply, a stable and cooperative Arctic is valuable for its states and peoples, especially in an era of globalization. The Arctic, not overtly plagued by conflicts, can be seen an exception in international politics, akin to the International Space Station. It might, as well as Iran after the nuclear deal, become a new metaphor for ‘Exceptionalism’, and be taken as an example of how to shape alternative premises of security and politics. Here, maintaining and further developing the interplay between