Chaire Raoul-Dandurand en études stratégiques et diplomatiques (uqam)


INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE: The Arctic in Transition: Regional Issues and Geopolitics

Pipeline_mourmanskThe Arctic in Transition: Regional Issues and Geopolitics  - 3 and 4 October 2011 MONTRÉAL


French presentations will not be transalted in English for webcast.


Regional Issues and Geopolitics


          logo-CJC-pour-diffusion         crd-logo        arcticnet        nrflogo

3 and 4 October 2011


Organized by the Center for Geopolitical Studies of the Raoul Dandurand Chair (UQAM), in collaboration with the Centre Jacques Cartier (France), ArcticNet (Université Laval,Québec), and the Northern Research Forum (University of the Arctic; University of Lapland, Finland).



 (en fançais: cliquez ici)

The Arctic is generally perceived as a distant and monolithic region. For some, it’s a frontier to be discovered and exploited; a vulnerable and fragile region or even a white and virgin desert that needs to be protected against any form of economic activity. For others, the Arctic is destined to become the “next great game” where states compete and battle over its rich natural resources. Indeed, the various effects predicted by climate change scenarios in respect with the circumpolar world produce images and apprehensions of potential security issues that tend to shape the way the world sees and thinks the Arctic in international affairs. This creates a narrow vision of circumpolar affairs where evolving political, economic, and social dynamics of the vast and complex northern regions are overlooked. In fact, the Arctic is an immense heterogeneous zone comprised of established political borders, an international Ocean, accessible or unattainable maritime spaces, evolving indigenous or non-indigenous populations, different climates, geographies and ecosystems … In short, territories, peoples and economies that are today rapidly transforming and, like never before, caught up in/by globalization. 

Faced with all the images and challenges brought by the rapid evolution of these Great North/High North spaces, how do we define the Arctic today? More precisely, beyond the headlines, what issues are the eight circumpolar states dealing with? How are their local and national populations and industries adapting? What regions should we monitor, and what actors are implicated? Finally, can these challenges have repercussions on world affairs, geoeconomics and, in that case, how are neighboring and non-Arctic states dealing with the changes taking place?

This high level international meeting reunites political scientists, lawyers, geographers, historians and practitioners to discuss, first, the socio-economic, political and security issues of Arctic developed or developing regions, and, second, to look at the evolving relationships between these spaces, their peoples, and global affairs. The main focus of the meeting seeks to adress security issue(s) of the various region(s) that make up the circumpolar world. Three Arctic regions will be highlighted: a) the North-American Arctic (United States (Alaska); Canada (Northwest Territories, Yukon, Nunavut, Nunavik) and Greenland; b) the North Pacific Rim (Alaska, Russian Far East, Beaufort Sea/Chukchi); c) the Barents Euro-Arctic Region (Nordic countries – Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland – and Russia). The Montréal meeting seeks to deepen and work on the issues brought up by the previous Arctic 2010 conference that was held in Lyon (France) last November (Arctic 2010: Geopolitical Issues and Equations in the 21st Century). Presentations from that conference are available on-line in French here.


 French/English translation available on site during conference

Program in PDF format 

  • 8:00 – Registration: Agora Hydro-Québec, 175 Ave. Président-Kennedy, Montréal (Metro Place des Arts)
  • 8:45 am – Opening remarks: Charles-Philippe DAVID, Chairholder, Raoul Dandurand Chair of Strategic and Diplomatic Studies, Professor at the Department of Political Science, UQAM; Frédéric LASSERRE, Center for Geopolitical Studies, codirector of Arctic 2011, Professor at the Department of Geography, Université Laval; Joël PLOUFFE, Center for Geopolitical Studies, codirector of Arctic 2011 and PhD Candidate at the Department of Political Science, UQÀM

  Round Table A – 9:00 am  

  Europe and the Arctic  


The EU Facing a Changing Arctic
Steffen WEBER, Secretary General for the EU-Arctic Forum and chief advisor on the European Parliament's High North/Arctic Report, Brussels 

The European Arctic Policy: Internal and External Challenges 
Cécile PELAUDEIX, Research Associate, PACTE-IEP, Member of the Center for Canadian Studies, Grenoble, France

China and the Euro-Arctic Zone, Heather EXNER-PIROT, PhD Candidat, University of Calgary, Canada

  • 10:15 am – Coffee break

   Round Table B – 10:30 am
   Russia's Transforming Arctic    

The Arctic in Russian Strategic Thinking: Patterns of Permanence and Change
Katarzyna ZYSK, Associate Professor, Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies, Oslo, Norway

Russia's Arctic: A Geopolitical Issue? Gleb YAROVOY, Associate Professor, Petrozavodsk State University, Petrozavodsk, Russia

Living with the Extractive Industry in Arctic Russia: Oil and Gas Without Conflict? 
Florian STAMMLER, Senior Researcher, Arctic Center, Rovaniemi, Finland and Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, U.K.

Cities and Nomads in the West Siberian Arctic: What Sustainability? 
Yvette VAGUET, Maître de Conférences, Rouen University, France

  • 12:15-1:55 pm – Lunch

   Round Table C – 2:00 pm
   Assessing Existing and Potential Arctic Energy Resources:    
   Strategic Evaluations and Scenarios for the Future


Thawing Ice, Updated Projections: Jérôme WEISS, Geophysician, CNRS-Université Grenoble 1, France

Mapping Oil and Gas Estimates in the Arctic
Lars KULLERUD, President, University of the Arctic, Norway

The Geopolitics of Arctic Energy Resources
Charles EMMERSON, Chatam House U.K., Senior Fellow, Energy, Environment and Development Program, London

The Arctic Boom : Constructing the Northern Eldorado
Petra DOLATA-KREUTZKAMP, Professor, King's College University, London

  • 3:30 pm – Coffee Break


   Round Table D – 3:45 pm 
   Governance and the Maritime Arctic  



Assessing Current and Future Arctic Shipping Scenarios
Frédéric LASSERRE, Professor, Department of Geography, Université Laval, Research Associate, Center for Geopolitical Studies, Raoul Dandurand Chair, UQAM, Québec, Canada

The International Legal Framework: A Stabilizing Force in the Arctic?
Suzanne LALONDE, Professor, Faculty of Law, Université de Montréal, Canada

Future Challenges of Maritime Governance in the Arctic
Timo KOIVUROVA, Research Professor, Director of the Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law, Arctic Center, Rovaniemi, Finland



   Tuesday, October 4th, 2011


   8:45 am – Opening Remarks by Louis FORTIER, Scientific Director, ArcticNet, and Alain FUCHS, President of the CNRS (French National Reseach Council)


   Round Table E – 9:00 am
The North American Arctic: A Vulnerable Frontier?    


The Strategic Importance of the Arctic: An American Assessment
Heather A. CONLEY, Senior Fellow, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Washington, D.C., United States of America

Canada's Arctic Security Dilemma
Rob HUEBERT, Associate Professor, Center for Military and Strategic Studies, University of Calgary, Canada

The North-American Arctic Security Discourse Continentalized
Stéphane ROUSSEL, Professor, Department of Political Science, Director of the Observatoire de la politique et la sécurité de l'Arctique (OPSA) at UQAM, Canada

The North-American Arctic: A Russian PerspectiveDaryana MAXIMOVA, The Institute for the U.S. and Canadian Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia.

  • 10:30 – Coffee break

Round Table F – 10h45

Canada and the U.S. in the Circumpolar World    


Sovereigntizing and Securitizing Moves: Understanding Canada-United States Relations in a Circumpolar FrameworkP. Whitney LACKENBAUER, Associate Professor, St-Jerome's University (University of Waterloo), Canada


Naturalized Geopolitics and the Circumpolar North
 Heather NICOL, Associate Professor, Trent University, President of the Association for Borderland Studies, Canada



Human Security at the Arctic Frontier: An Inuit Framework for Resource Development
 Jessica SHADIAN, Senior Researcher, High North Center at the Bodø Graduate School of Business, University of Nordland, Bodø, Norway


  • 12:15-13:55 – Lunch

   Round Table G - 2:00 pm

   Regional Settings and Perspectives: Nunavik and the North American Arctic    


The North-American Arctic: Socio-Economic Dimensions, Gérard DUHAIME, Chairholder, Canada Research Chair on Comparative Aboriginal Condition, Laval University, Québec, Canada

Mining Development and Viability of Inuit Communities in Canada's Arctic, Thierry RODON, Professor, Department of Political Science, Canada Research Chair on Sustainable Development and the North, Laval University, Québec

Québec's Northern Plan (Plan Nord): How Does Nunavik Fit In? Pita AATAMI, President of the Makivik Corporation of Nunavik, Montréal, Canada. 

  • 3:30 pm – Coffee Break

   Round Table H - 3:45 pm
  The Arctic, Globalization and International Relations  


Non-Arctic States Interests and the Arctic: The Case of Germany
Franz THÖNNES, Member of Parliament, Bundestag, Berlin, Germany 

Non-Arctic States Interests and the Arctic: The Case of France
Joël PLOUFFE, Ph.D Candidate, Department of Political Science, Center for Geopolitical Studies, Raoul Dandurand Chair, UQAM, Canada

Globalization of the Circumpolar World
Lassi HEININEN, Professor, Department of Political Science, Lapin yliopisto (University of Lapland), Rovaniemi, Finland  


For more info contact Joël Plouffe:

Conference Venue

Agora Hydro-Québec, Complexe des sciences Pierre Dansereau, 175, avenue Président-Kennedy
Métro Place-des-Arts, MONTRÉAL     Google Map  -   UQAM campus map


Online registration has ended

General Rate: $25 per day, $50 for two days

Free for student (with student ID)

Registration rate is to be paid wiht cash or by credit or debit card on the day of the conference.

Transportation and tourism in Montreal

From the airport to downtown

Aerobus : provides a connection by bus 747 between the airport and downtown Montreal (Bus stops at the Montreal Central Bus Station located at 505 de Maisonneuve blvd East, nearby the University and Hotels). Tickets are available at the currency exchange, at the arrivals level. The rate is 8$ (valid 24 hours for the 747 bus and for all buses and subways in the city of Montreal) or $16 (valid 3 days for the 747 bus and for all buses and subways in the city of Montreal). Please find on the following link, the list of all stops:

Taxi : There is a flat rate airport to downtown : $38

Limousine : There is a flat rate airport to downtown : $49,50

Montreal by Metro


Société de transport de Montréal 

Other informations on Montreal


On-line Resources


On Canada, Québec and the Arctic



Frontiers in the Arctic 

Circumpolar Arctic

Population above the polar circle

Carte_frontieres_Arctique arctique_circumpolaire carte_pop_Arctique



Recent Publications on Arctic Geopolitics



Directed by Frédéric Lasserre, Passages et mers arctiques. Géopolitique d'une région en mutation, Québec : Presses de l'Université du Québec, collection Géographie contemporaine, 2010. 




couv_global_circum_North Lassi Heininen, Ed. with Chris Southcott, Globalization and the Circumpolar North, 2010.







Éric Canobbio, Géopolitique d'une ambition inuite. Le Québec face à son destin nordique, Septentrion, 2010.




    montagnes     mourmansk     glacier