Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 338

338 Arctic Yearbook 2015 Arctic continental shelves, but that states can also block this process. The core states currently stand to gain from the peaceful settlement of the issue, which has been reflected in the somewhat restraint shown thus far by the states. Domestic politics is the big unknown. The Arctic plays a symbolically important role in the national narratives of all three states and it is not unlikely that domestic forces will pressure governments to make extensive claims or to block the UNCLOS process. The delimitation process thus entails managing domestic expectations. Furthermore, policymakers and observers should note that the Ukraine crisis may be changing Moscow’s strategic calculus by making cooperation less beneficial, while concurrently strengthening the regime’s dependence on nationalistic domestic forces. The Kremlin may decide to use posturing and a disruption of the UNCLOS process to stoke the flames of nationalism. The delimitation process is still on track, but policymakers and observers should be aware of the bumps ahead and should plan their policies and reactions to avoid that the process gets derailed. Timing seems to be absolutely essential. Policymakers should – if possible – make claims and counterclaims at times when the tide of nationalism is ebbing and they should avoid stoking the flames of nationalism through provocations or posturing, when other states make their claims. Furthermore, they should not take foreign posturing too seriously, but rather strive to separate identity politics from actual concrete political measures. The current constellation of interests seems to favor a peaceful delimitation of the High North, but it requires cool heads in the Arctic capitals to ensure that favorable conditions lead to optimal outcomes. Acknowledgments The author would like to thank Thorbjørn Bugge Daniel, Vincent Keating, and the participants at a seminar held at the University of Copenhagen for their helpful feedback and comments to earlier versions of this article. The research for this article was funded by the Carlsberg Foundation. Notes 1. The following review is based on Rahbek-Clemmensen 2015. 2. The 2001 claim included an area bordering Norwegian territory in the Barents Sea. Norway and Russia had settled this question in the meantime and this part of the claim was not included in the 2015 claim. 3. For a comprehensive analysis of the impact of the crisis on Arctic politics, see RahbekClemmensen (2015). Rahbek-Clemmensen