A Delicate Balance of Different Dependencies: A Case Study of Greenland in the Artic Region

Benedikte Brincker

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


    Monday 15th December 2014, Denmark made its territorial claim to the North Pole. In so doing, it challenged first and foremost the other Arctic nation states that have also made theirs claims to the North Pole. The Arctic region has gained enormous importance in recent years. Due to climate change, the region holds promises of an abundance of natural resources and the prospect of new international trade routes. This draws attention to one particular country: Greenland. Greenland is part of the Kingdom of Denmark – but it has for many years witnessed moves towards national independence. These calls for national independence clash with Danish nationalism that seeks to maintain the unity of the Kingdom of Denmark. The clash between Danish and Greenlandic nationalisms comes to the fore with the changes taking place in the Arctic Region. Given its size, climate, and geo‐political position, Greenland can never monitor ‐ let alone defend ‐ its own borders. This problem is pressing given the strategic significance that is to a growing extent being ascribed to the Arctic Region. The position of Greenland ties in with the argument that no state is independent. Instead, every state is faced with the task of balancing different dependencies. In this perspective, Greenland is the case in extremis. The prospect of Greenland seceding from the Kingdom of Denmark relies upon it becoming embedded in the “international community of sovereign nation states” thus balancing different dependencies ‐ while also constituting a challenge to the notion of sovereignty.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication dateApr 2015
    Number of pages11
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015
    EventNationalism: Diversity and Security: The 25th Annual Conference of the Association for the Study of Ethnicity and Nationalism (ASEN) - London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom
    Duration: 21 Apr 201523 Apr 2015
    Conference number: 25


    ConferenceNationalism: Diversity and Security
    LocationLondon School of Economics
    CountryUnited Kingdom
    SponsorLondon School of Economics and Political Science
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