Canada US InstituteWestern Social Science

The Arctic Research Program

Project Leader: Dr. Elizabeth Riddell-Dixon, Political Science, Western

with Dr. Amy Lovecraft, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

March, 2011

The Arctic is undergoing fundamental changes as a result of global warming, higher levels of resource exploration and development, and increased interest on the parts of political leaders at the national and international levels.[1]  These changes affect every aspect of political, economic, and social life in the Arctic.[2]  What policies are needed in response to these changes?  How can the political, economic, social and cultural needs of Arctic inhabitants be met in this evolving environment? Read the whole paper.

[1] Interview with Gordon McBean.  Similar views have been expressed by Rob Huebert, who writes, “The Arctic is facing a transformation of epic proportions at almost every level.” (“Canadian Arctic Security: Preparing for a Changing Future” in Canada’s Arctic Interests and ResponsibilitiesBehind the Headlines 65(4) (2008): 19.)

[2] The Canadian Arctic refers to three territories north of latitude 60̊ north (i.e., the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut).  The American Arctic refers to Alaska.  While these regions face many of the same challenges, their physical environments as well as their respective political, economic, social and cultural contexts are unique.