Ilulissat, Greenland. Photo: Gorm Winther

Security in the Arctic must respect the local indigenous people

A new research project aims to present an expanded concept of security in the Arctic regions in international politics that includes human security.

The militarization of the Arctic in a world of dual superpowers focuses to a higher degree on the security of the Arctic centers. However, seeing the world through the eyes of indigenous peoples of the Arctic, the concept of human security has a wider meaning than the focus predominant today. The new project “Human Security, Innovative Models of Co-management, and Participation in Arctic Regions” aims to identify an expanded concept of security in the Arctic. Project leader and Professor Emeritus at Aalborg University Business School Gorm Winther thinks that the security issue must respect the local indigenous peoples' autonomy.

- The overall question in the project is: Should security research include non-military research questions and promote the Arctic as an international zone of peace, or should it sustain conflict conceptualization of security between superpowers? We believe that the security concept should be broadened, Gorm Winther says. 

Human security overshadowed by a warfare paradigm  

According to Gorm Winther human security issues in the Arctic regions seem to an increasing degree to be overshadowed by a warfare paradigm. Broadening the security concept includes cultural security, economic security, environmental security, job security, and a non-alienated life for the Arctic people.

- Our hypothesis is that participation in economic and political decision-making processes will promote the resilience of people in the Arctic against a destructive externally imposed conflict paradigm, Gorm Winther explains.


  • The project “Human Security, Innovative Models of Co-management, and Participation in Arctic Regions” was launched in August 2021 and runs over a three-year period.
  • It is funded through the Nordic Council of Ministers' Arctic Co-operation Programme. Grants are awarded one year at a time.
  • The project is organised as an international consortium of Nordic researchers as well as researchers from other Arctic regions outside the Nordic region. The participants come from Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Greenland, Iceland, Belgium, USA, Russia, China and Canada.


Professor Emeritus Gorm Winther, Aalborg University Business School, phone: +45 9940 8434, email:

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