Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 347

347 Arctic Yearbook 2015 The theoretical concept of security communities and methodological considerations One of the underlying assumptions of this article is that regional security is hardly immune to geopolitical changes and to outside influences. Looking for example into the Arctic region, the current changes in the European security environment seem to also require an assessment of possible spillover-effects to the security agenda in the High North. In this regard, theories, such as the wellestablished ‘regional security complex theory’ by Barry Buzan and Ole Waever (2003), seem only little promising, as they particularly emphasize ‘proximity’, both, for security interaction, but also for security threats especially in the military, political, societal and environmental sector (Buzan & Wæver 2003: 45 f.). Technological progress and global security challenges like climate change seem to ask for a much more general and open theoretical framework. The subsequent section will thus briefly define and outline the theoretical concept of ‘Security Communities,’ which will afterwards serve as the point of departure for identifying the key elements of an Arctic security community as well as for discussing spillover effects from the Ukrainian crisis. Definition The term ‘Security Community’ was first coined in 1957 by political scientist Karl Deutsch in his research on political communities (Deutsch 1957). He argued that security communities would represent a particular form of a political community, one in which the members of a certain geographical area hold a long-term “dependable expectation […] of ‘peaceful change’” (Deutsch 1957: 2) as they share the common belief that group-internal disputes will solely be regulated and resolved through non-violent, institutionalized procedures (ibid.). While also elaborating briefly on necessary conditions for the establishment of such communities, for example communication (ibid.: 17 f.) and common, unifying core areas (e.g. size, economy, and administration) (ibid.: 18 f.), Deutsch’s concept failed to provide a 6