Arctic Ambitions

Friday 12 April 2024



Friday, April 12, 2024 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Irsem - École militaire - Amphithéâtre des Vallières 





Session 1 - "North American Arctic Ambitions"


The aim of this series of conferences is to question the ambitions of the major powers involved in Arctic issues - principally Russia, the United States, Canada, the European Union and China - by putting into perspective both their political visions and strategies, and the concrete resources allocated to achieving their objectives: development of hybrid bases, opening of routes, show of force exercises.... These meetings will not dispense with a study of the major geopolitical tensions in the area: the legal status of the straits, politico-military alliances, militarization, resource exploitation and the impact of climate change. Nevertheless, the aim is to clearly define what is meant by " geopolitical interest" in the Arctic, in order to map out Arctic ambitions and determine the region's place in power competitions. We will thus see that a large proportion of Arctic policies, whether produced by Arctic states or by third-party Asian or European states, are first and foremost motivated by an environmental approach. Environmental security, intimately linked to the development of economic activities encouraged by climate change, provides a common entry point for the pursuit of other economic or military interests. Moreover, while representations of the Arctic regularly refer to a space of tension at the heart of power issues and remilitarization of the world, since the end of the Cold War this region has been characterized by cooperation, motivated by the "Arctic exception". However, security escalations in the Arctic are increasingly seen as a reflection of rising global tensions, without overshadowing the region's own military interests. To answer these questions, this first conference will focus on North American Arctic ambitions, with the aim of specifying the ambitions of Canada and the United States in the Arctic. What kind of ambitions are they? Are they a reaction to the ambitions of other powers? For their own interests? Beyond strategies and announcements, how do these ambitions translate into concrete action?


  • Dr Stéphanie PEZARD, RAND researcher, USA
  • Professor Frédéric Lasserre, Laval University, Canada

Discussant :

  • Dr Virginie Saliou, researcher at IRSEM, France



Contact :
01 44 42 48 51

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