Climate change and security – searching for a paradigm shift

Organized by NRF-UArctic Thematic Network on Geopolitics and Security 13. September 2017

The focus of this session is comprehensive security, and how discourses on environmental and human security have shown a need for changes in problem definition of security. The post-Cold War Arctic with special features of security (e.g., nuclear safety), as well as a shift in premises from military to environmental security (e.g., due to pollution), is seriously faced by grand challenges / wicked problems, particularly by the combination of pollution and climate change.

Saturday, October 14, 16:00 - 17:30
Location: Kaldalón, Ground Level

Rapid climate change and the Anthropocene can be interpreted as global factors promoting a peaceful change, though this is not determined but needs action. This session will argue that there is a growing need for discourse and paradigm shift in approach of traditional (nationally-defined) security due to (rapid) climate change. There is a plan to produce a publication based on this session, which would continue the publication series by the TN on Geopolitics and Security (see, Future Security of the Global Arctic (2016), Security and Sovereignty in the North Atlantic (2014) by Palgrave Pivot).


  • Heather Exner-Pirot, Strategist for Outreach and Indigenous Engagement, University of Saskatchewan: Between Militarization and Disarmament: Challenges for Arctic Security in the 21st Century
  • Salla Kalliojärvi, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Lapland: Global Security, Policy and the Arctic under Changing Climate: Examining the Climate Security Discourse
  • Wilfrid Greaves, Assistant Professor of International Relations, University of Victoria: Cities, Security, and Environmental Change in a Warming Arctic
  • Sanna Kopra, Post-doc, University of Lapland: China, Climate Change and International Security: Changing Attributes of Great Power Responsibility


  • Lassi Heininen, Professor, University of Lapland