Research

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Diplomacy, Security and Identity in the Arctic

My main research interests are Arctic identity, diplomacy and security politics, which I approach through readings and observations of discourse and praxis. These three theoretical concepts are closely interrelated in my research as I analyse how national identities are discursively created in relation to others, used to legitimise specific foreign policies, represented and reproduced by diplomats when engaging in the Arctic and beyond.

I am particularly interested in how Denmark's and Greenland's foreign policy representatives (inter)act – together as well as separately – when participating in Arctic affairs, and how the increased international attention towards this region reconfigures postcolonial relationships within the Danish Realm. This was the core focus of my doctoral thesis and continues to be one of my main research interests as I now both broaden my research to regional governance of the Circumpolar North while scrutinising the most recent geopolitical developments in Greenland.

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Geopolitics and Governance in Greenland

My postdoctoral research project examines how Greenland geopolitics are formed by military and diplomatic activities which activate new and recurring understandings of security and sovereignty. The project pays particular attention to renewed US engagements in Greenland by scrutinising the underlying reasons and potential consequences of the Thule Air Base and the US Consulate in Nuuk.

The main motivation behind the project was Donald Trump's idea of purchasing Greenland which drew renewed attention to the geostrategic significance of the Arctic and revealed widespread misunderstandings of Greenland’s current constitutional status. This development displayed a gap in our understanding of the Arctic as an exceptionally peaceful and stable region isolated from global security dynamics, while it gave rise to Greenlandic discussions about how to benefit from the renewed attention without causing amplified security implications. 

Through ethnographic observations, interviews and close readings of texts, the project investigates how these engagements are justified and how configurations of sovereignty are legitimised in the triangular relations between Greenland, Denmark and the United States. The project will result in an edited volume about (de)securitisation dynamics in Greenland.