Science Diplomacy of Great Britain in the Arctic

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2020-64-2-110-117

M. Gutenev (,
South Ural State University, 76, Lenina Prosp., Chelyabinsk, 454080, Russian Federation


The article discusses the formation and development of the Arctic strategy of Great Britain. The author studies the scientific component in official government documents on the Arctic. London has incentives that its advanced science demonstrates to the world Britain’s close research, historical, cultural, commercial and military ties with the Arctic. The production of knowledge that will have a global reach is one of the main opportunities for the British government to influence the international community. The government of the Kingdom is well aware that the changes occurring in the Arctic due to ice melting can bring economic benefits in the near future. The tempting prospects motivate the UK to remain one of the world’s top leaders in supporting environmental protection and international cooperation in the region. On the one hand, Britain’s science diplomacy in the Arctic is a tool of reducing tensions and strengthening cooperation with Russia in the economic, financial and political spheres. On the other hand, the scientific activity of the Kingdom in the polar region is a means to consolidate the subarctic status of the country and legitimize its presence in the polar latitudes, which in the future may allow the UK to participate in political and economic processes of the Arctic resources distribution. The joint scientific activity of Russia and Great Britain currently remains, perhaps, one of the few tools that will improve relations between the two countries in the future, establish partnership and prove that mutual cooperation can be beneficial. At the same time, it is obvious that Russia remains the main geopolitical opponent of the UK in the region. From Britain’s perspective, it destabilizes the situation in the Arctic, prevents the protection and sustainable development of the region for the common good.


Arctic, Great Britain, Russia, NSR, Arctic Council, gas, science diplomacy


1. Israel J. Dutch Primacy in World Trade: 1585–1740. Oxford, Clarendon, 2002. 488 p.

2. Depledge D. Britain and the Arctic. Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2018. 142 p.

3. The Transfer of Arctic Territories from Great Britain to Canada in 1880, and Some Related Matters, As Seen in Official Correspondence (1961 March). Available at: (accessed 9.04.2019).

4. Staveley W. An Overview of British Defence Policy in the North. Britain and NATO’s Northern Flank. London, Macmillan Press, 1988, pp. 65-73.

5. UK-Arctic Stakeholders report of conference held at the Scottish Association for Marine Sciences, Oban 10–12 March 2008. Available at: (accessed 12.03.2019).

6. Depledge D. What’s in a Name? A UK Arctic Policy Framework for 2013. The Geographical Journal, 2013, no. 179, pp. 369-372.

7. Arctic Committee. Select Committee on the Arctic: Oral and Written Evidence. Available at: (accessed 22.04.2018).

8. Johnstone R.L. An Arctic Strategy for Scotland. Arctic Yearbook, 2012, no. 1, pp. 114-129.

9. Launch of “Beyond the Ice: UK policy towards the Arctic”. Available at: (accessed 17.04.2019).

10. China’s Arctic Policy. The State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China published a white paper titled “China’s Arctic Policy” on Jan 26. Available at: (accessed 15.03.2019).

11. Antyushina N.M. Arktika: novyi format mezhdunarodnogo sotrudnichestva [Arctic: a new format of international cooperation]. Moscow, Institut Evropy RAS, 2014. 138 p.

12. New frontiers in science diplomacy: navigating the changing balance of power. London, Science Policy Centre, 2010. 32 p.

13. Natural Environment Research Council. Available at: (accessed 18.04.2019).

14. The UK Arctic science community is active and growing. Available at: (accessed 09.04.2019).

15. In Britain began to build polar naval ship “Sir David Attenborough” (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 19.04.2019).

16. UK Science and Innovation Network. Available at: (accessed 23.12.2018).

17. UK Research and Innovation. Available at: (accessed 09.02.2019).

18. Henry Burgess spoke about the promising areas of cooperation between the UK and Russia in the Arctic (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 09.01.2019).

19. UK Arctic Science Conference 2017. Available at: (accessed 26.09.2019).

20. UK – Russia Arctic Bursaries Programme 2019. Available at: (accessed 26.09.2019).

21. Japan, Denmark and Norway want to use the North Sea Route (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 26.09.2019).

22. On Thin Ice: UK Defense in the Arctic. Twelfth Report of Session 2017–19. Available at: (accessed 09.01.2019).

23. Britain enters the battle for the Arctic (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 18.03.2019).

24. Mart’yanov V.S., Pankevich N.V., Startsev Ya.Yu., Emikh V.V. Interesy mirovykh derzhav v Arktike po rezul’tatam monitoringa vedushchikh SMI. [The interests of the world powers in the Arctic as a result of monitoring of the leading media]. Sotsium i vlast’, 2017, no. 2(64), pp. 41-52.

Registered in system SCIENCE INDEX

For citation:
Gutenev M. Science Diplomacy of Great Britain in the Arctic. Mirovaya ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya, 2020, vol. 64, No 2, pp. 110-117.

Comments (0)

No comments

Add comment

Current Issue
Submit an Article

Dear readers!
Please note that free access to full-text issues of the Journal is being opened at our WEB-site after 6 months of the date of publications.The work on deepening the open archive of full-text issues will be continued.

Dear colleagues, authors and readers!
We kindly request you to turn to editor-in-chief and executive secretary directly concerning reviewing scientific publications in our journal. Only editor-in-chief takes decision on order and publication the reviews!

Dear readers!
This is to inform the researchers of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations that electronic versions of the I, II, III issues of 2020 of French magazine Politique étrangère are now available. Those who are interested, please personally address to the editorial staff of MEMO Journal (room 18-17) with an electronic media.

In response to the challenges of our time the Editorial board continues to open new thematic rubrics:

“World Energy Sector after Pandemic”. We plan to publish articles presenting in-depth analysis of influence of Pandemic on the global energy sector and forecasts of further developments in its various branches.

“Civilization processes of modern development” is a new rubric opened by MEMO Journal in 2020. It will be devoted to the analysis of the influence of civilizational factors and inter-civilizational interactions on the political and socio-economic development of the world at whole, regions and countries.

“Africa today and tomorrow”The rubric devoted to contemporary issues of Africa which is attracting growing interest of the world's leading actors. We plan to publish the articles analyzing the status of statehood, socio-economic and political development of the countries of Black continent, as well as the integration processes between them.


"World Eсonomy and International Relations" announces a contest for the best joint academic publications of domestic and foreign researchers and experts in topical issues of the world economy and international relations. The winners will be selected according to the results of peer reviewing and discussion at the Editorial Board. The articles will be published in priority order.


The print version of “World Economy and International Relations” journal is distributed by advance subscription only, and is not offered for retail sale. To subscribe please address to any post office in Russia by referring to the Federal Postal Service Union Catalogue, section “ARSMI”, the journal index is 70542. The subscription may be made for the whole subscription period or starting from any nearest available month for desired number of issues.

To purchase the full-text electronic version of the journal’s issue/article please address to the WEB portal of Scientific electronic library or URL:

In journal
2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997 |

The author’s opinions may not coincide with the position of editorial