Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 348

348 Arctic Yearbook 2015 also Adler and Barnett admit (ibid.: 54), initiate and foster the learning process which is needed for all sides, to learn from and about one another’s motives and behaviours. It is this knowledge about the other members, which creates trust and the conviction that a member of a security community can, regardless of the current actions of others, expect peaceful change (ibid.: 54 f.). In a most ideal case, this is achieved by a merger of identities, values, meanings and long-term interests, something Adler and Barnett would call ‘tightly coupled’ security community (ibid.: 56). However, it is also important to point out that direct relations are nothing to be measured in quantitative terms, something which Adler and Barnett’s use of the term ‘many-sided’ seems to imply. Purely counting the number of direct encounters appears to be simplistic and thus inaccurate, as it simply assumes that every interaction automatically leads to merging perceptions and expectations in security shared identities, spheres. Much more emphasis should values, and meanings thus be put on a qualitative assessment of these contacts. Methodology This section shall provide some brief answers to the most important methodological considerations in this article. These mainly include aspects of operationalization, case selection and empirics. Operationalization many-sided and direct relations Security Community commonly shared long-term interest Figure 1. Key Elements of Security Communities (based on Adler & Barnett 1998). The actual operationalization of indicators on highly normative theoretical concepts, such as security communities, is probably one of the most difficult aspects of conducting research. Measuring or even identifying ‘many-sided and direct relations,’ ‘shared identities, values, meanings’ as well as ‘common long-term interests’ is a highly delicate and normative task and will remain vulnerable to controversial debate and disagreement. Thus, the used operationalization in this article will also not claim to be inviolable to critique. Moreover, this article tries to increase the reliability and validity of its findings in two ways. First, it will rely on the established operationalization of Amitav Acharya’s study on a possible security community in Southeast Asia (2014). Second, it will present the line of argumentation in the most transparent way possible. Building upon an established framework appears also most reasonable in light of the article’s limitations in scope. Since many-sided and direct relations have been identified as a necessary pre-condition for the formation of security communities, these will form the core point of departure for the assessment of security communities. Nevertheless, since states in today’s globalized world are able to meet and interact in numerous international venues, the analysis of this article will put special emphasis on official governmental forums which are Arctic-specific. Schaller