IRE201 Arctic Geopolitics

Faculty of Social Studies
Autumn 2019
Extent and Intensity
1/1/0. 4 credit(s). Type of Completion: z (credit).
Barbora Halašková, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
Barbora Halašková, Ph.D.
Department of International Relations and European Studies - Faculty of Social Studies
Contact Person: Olga Cídlová, DiS.
Supplier department: Department of International Relations and European Studies - Faculty of Social Studies
Thu 19. 9. 14:00–15:40 U42, Thu 26. 9. 14:00–15:40 U42, Thu 3. 10. 14:00–15:40 U42, Thu 10. 10. 14:00–15:40 U42, Thu 17. 10. 14:00–15:40 U42, Thu 24. 10. 14:00–15:40 U42, Thu 31. 10. 14:00–15:40 U42, Thu 7. 11. 14:00–15:40 U42, Thu 14. 11. 14:00–15:40 U44, Thu 21. 11. 14:00–15:40 U42, Thu 28. 11. 14:00–15:40 U42, Thu 5. 12. 14:00–15:40 U42, Thu 12. 12. 14:00–15:40 U42
You are expected to have a good command of English – a minimum of B2 level (CEFR) or equivalent – in order to follow the course. You should be able to understand oral presentations as well as the main ideas of academic texts on different topics. You are encouraged to engage in class activities and discussions. Additionally, you will actively participate in the simulation game – Model Arctic Council. You will be asked to produce a clear, detailed text (position paper) on an assigned topic.
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is only offered to the students of the study fields the course is directly associated with.

The capacity limit for the course is 30 student(s).
Current registration and enrolment status: enrolled: 8/30, only registered: 0/30
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
Course objectives
The course introduces you to the topics on geopolitics, state of, and importance of the Arctic region.
Learning outcomes
By the end of this course, you will be able to:
  • define the concept of ‘geopolitics’ within the International Relations Theory and its relevance for assessing the politics of the Arctic
  • identify key trends and potentially problematic areas in this region
  • explain and summarize the importance of the Arctic region from the perspective of various stakeholders and their strategies toward the region
  • discuss the environmental changes that take place in the Arctic and challenges/opportunities which the climate change presents
  • develop arguments and defend your given position during the role-play (MAC)
  • Syllabus
    • 1. Introduction to the course: Defining the Arctic
    • 2. Geopolitics and its relation to theories of international relations
    • 3. Historical perspectives to the North
    • 4. Regional governance structures and cooperation, Arctic Council, NGOs
    • 5. Feedback seminar on position papers. Preparation to MAC
    • 6. + 7. Model Arctic Council (MAC) simulation game
    • 8. The Arctic security landscape / legal-political conflicts in the Arctic
    • 9. Interests and strategies of the Arctic states I. – Canada, Russian Federation, U.S.
    • 10. Interests and strategies of the Arctic states II. – Denmark and Norway
    • 11. Interests and strategies of the Arctic states III. – Finland, Sweden, Iceland
    • 12. Arctic Outsiders – China’s Arctic Strategy and the EU’s Arctic Strategy
    • 13. The effects of climate change in the Arctic – challenges and opportunities
      required literature
    • LE MIÈRE, Christian and Jeffrey MAZO. Arctic opening : insecurity and opportunity. Abingdon: International institute for strategic studies, 2013. 179 stran. ISBN 9781138776692. info
    • BYERS, Michael and James BAKER. International law and the Arctic. First published. Cambridge: Cambridge university press, 2013. xviii, 314. ISBN 9781107470903. info
    • HOUGH, Peter. International politics of the Arctic : coming in from the cold. First published. London: Routledge, 2013. xvi, 154. ISBN 9780415669283. info
    • Arctic security in an age of climate change. Edited by James Kraska. 1st pub. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011. xxvii, 312. ISBN 9781107006607. info
    Teaching methods
    Class sessions will include lectures by the course lecturer, academic discussions, guest lectures (Arctic Window – short live video calls with experts from different Arctic states), written assignment (a position paper) and a group work (Model Arctic Council – MAC). You are expected to actively participate in the sessions: do the required readings for each class; come with notes and questions for the lecturer and other students; actively engage at class activities; actively and responsibly participate in the MAC. The simulation game serves to improve your ability to work with and present data on a given topic and to improve presentation and negotiation skills.
    Assessment methods
    To complete the course and be eligible for a passing grade, you are required:
  • 1) Submit a position paper on the chosen topic from the list provided by the course lecturer (length 2000-2500 words without literature). The position paper should give you a good foundation for negotiating position during the simulation game – Model Arctic Council (MAC).
  • 2) Prepare for and actively participate in the MAC. During the first lecture, you will be assigned to represent a particular Arctic country/ Observer country/ organization. During the simulated MAC meeting, you will assume the identity and will represent an assigned actor. More detailed information about the MAC is available in IS.
    The course is pass/fail type.
  • Language of instruction
    Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
    The course is taught annually.
    Teacher's information
    Interactive syllabus and readings are available in IS.
    The course is also listed under the following terms Autumn 2017, Autumn 2018.
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