Arctic Science Diplomacy of the USA and Canada: A Comparative Analysis

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2023-67-6-92-105
A. Sergunin,
St. Petersburg State University, 1/3, Smol’nogo Str., St. Petersburg, 191060, Russian Federation;
Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod, 23, Gagarina Prosp., 603022, Nizhny Novgorod, Russian Federation.
M. Gutenev,
South Ural State University, 76, Lenina Prosp., Chelyabinsk, 454080, Russian Federation.

Received 23.01.2023. Revised 10.03.2023. Accepted 24.03.2023.

Acknowledgements. The article has been supported by a grant of the Russian Science Foundation. Project no. 22-28-01287

Abstract. The article examines the U.S. and Canadian Arctic Science Diplomacy (ASD) in a comparative perspective. The authors have identified the main reasons – scientific and geopolitical – for the use of the ASD in the region by these two countries, as well as by key state and non-state actors involved in its coordination and implementation. The ASD priorities for both countries include climate change implications, environmental problems, oceanography, geophysics, glaciology, permafrost, Arctic flora and fauna, conservation of biodiversity, Arctic shipping and transport infrastructure, rational use of Arctic mineral and biological resources, local communities, indigenous peoples, integration of traditional knowledge into science, and so on. Based on the analysis, it was found that both the USA and Canada recognize the important role of the Arctic Science Diplomacy in the successful implementation of their Arctic strategy and consider this kind of “non-traditional” public diplomacy to be a rather significant resource of their policy in the Far North. The Canadian ASD has to a greater extent an internal rather than an external orientation, while the U.S. ASD basically serves as an instrument of promotion of American national interests in the region. However, the United States pay less attention to the Arctic Science Diplomacy than Canada. The American ASD infrastructure (including the research centers and polar stations network as well as the research vessel fleet) is less developed than the Canadian one. In addition, in the U.S. strategic documents on the Arctic, unlike Canadian strategies, the coercive component is most clearly traced, which makes the United States a less attractive international partner and imposes certain restrictions on the participation of American ASD actors in Arctic cooperation. Moreover, the United States is very suspicious of the ASD of those regional “players” whom they have listed as unfriendly states (including Russia and China), which also serves as an obstacle to the development of Washington’s scientific cooperation with international partners in the Far North.

Keywords: Arctic, Canada, USA, science diplomacy, international relations, science


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For citation:
Sergunin A., Gutenev M. Arctic Science Diplomacy of the USA and Canada: A Comparative Analysis. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2023, vol. 67, no. 6, pp. 92-105. EDN: AQNTSR

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