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What is Hard Security

Handbook of Research on International Collaboration, Economic Development, and Sustainability in the Arctic
A freedom from the military-related threats, dangers, and risks.
Published in Chapter:
Arctic Regional Security
Alexander Sergunin (Saint Petersburg State University, Russia & Nizhny Novgorod State University, Russia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6954-1.ch004
This chapter examines an emerging regional security system in the Arctic. There was a significant shift in the Arctic powers' threat perceptions and security policies in the High North. In contrast with the Cold War era when the Arctic was a zone for the global confrontation between the USSR and the U.S./NATO, now this region is seen by international players as a platform for international cooperation. The Arctic countries now believe that there are no serious hard security threats to them and that the soft security agenda is much more important. The military power now has new functions, such as ascertaining coastal states' sovereignty over their exclusive economic zones and continental shelves in the region; protecting the Arctic countries' economic interests in the North, and performing some symbolic functions. The Arctic states believe that the regional cooperative agenda could include climate change mitigation, environmental protection, maritime safety, Arctic research, indigenous peoples, cross- and trans-border cooperative projects, culture, etc.
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