Please note: This page refers to a course that has already taken place.

16 - 20 Apr 2018

UiT, Kirkenes Campus

Centre for Peace Studies at Tromsø University (CPS/UiT)


Christine Smith-Simonsen (

​Confirmed contributing professors: Gunhild Hoogensen Gjørv (CPS/UiT), Kari Aga Myklebust (AHR/UiT), Rasmus Gjedssø Bertelsen (ISV/UiT), Alexandr Sergunin (StPSU), and Pavel Baev (PRIO).

This PhD course will address the historic and current relationships between Norway and Russia – and other relevant international actors operating in the region – and how these affect human/security in the Arctic. 

The course is organized by the Centre for Peace Studies at Tromsø University (CPS/UiT), in collaboration with the Research School on Peace and Conflict, the Barents Institute (BAI/UiT), and the SIU financed project Pan-Arctic PhD programme in Extractive Industries - a cooperation within the University of the Arctic Thematic Network Arctic Extractive Industries.

Apply online at:
NB! Application code: 9306, Course code: SVF-8058

Application deadline: February 1st 2018 

Course Description:

The course venue is situated closely to the issues in question, in Kirkenes, by the border between Norway and Russia. This way, the participants can better explore how this frontier/cold front/peace front plays out in regional, national and international agendas – as well as in the everyday life of ordinary people on all sides of the high north borders. Among the issues that will be addressed are; migration, including the challenges met at Storskog and the role of Arctic states in the "migration crises"; extractive industries, including mining in Nikel; tensions between economic and environmental security; and contested perceptions of security as told by the periphery (North Norway) and the centre (Oslo) regarding Russian threat levels towards Norway. Lectures, excursion and seminar discussions will be led by experts in the field; historians, political scientists, peace researchers and representatives from local- and regional management. 

Teaching methods:

  • One week intensive course:
    • Lectures
    • Seminars, including student presentations and peer reviews
    • Excursion
  • Individual reading of pre-determined reading list prior to course and submission of individual paper on a relevant topic after the course.



Monday April 16

13.00 Lunch at the Barents Institute

13.45 Welcome

14.00 Kari Myklebost (AHR/UiT) - Threat perceptions and cross-border dialogue. Norwegian-Russian relations 1814-2014

15.00 Break

15.15 Alexandr Sergunin (StPSU) – The Russian Arctic security discourse

16.15 Break

16.30 Paper Seminar I

Chair: Kari Myklebost/Pavel Baev

* Jane Robinson

* Kristian Gjerde

* Magnus Andersson

* Marc Jacobsen

20.00 Dinner at Thon Hotel

Tuesday April 17

08.30 Paper Seminar II

Chair: Christine Smith-Simonsen

* Alexandra Smirnova

* Sophie Schulz

* Morgane Fert-Malka

11.00 Break

11.15 Pavel Baev (PRIO) - The return of military-strategic thinking about the Arctic – driven by Russia and reciprocated in the West

12.15 Lunch at Surf&Turf

13.15 Paper Seminar III

Chair: Florian Stammler/Aytalina Ivanova

* Tomohiro Harada

* Marina Goloviznina

* Sviatoslav Kovalsky

15.45 Break

16.00 Florian Stammler (Arctic Centre, University of Lapland) and Aytalina Ivanova (CPS/UiT) – “It is too dangerous for you to be here”. Security as argument for indigenous territorial negotiation in Russia and NorwayPaper Seminar IV

17.00 Break

17.15 Paper Seminar IV

Chair: Gunhild Hoogensen

* Agne Cepinskyte

* Victoria Bikowski

* Alexandr Basov

20.00 Dinner at Ritz Pizzeria

Wednesday April 18

08.30 Paper Seminar V

Chair: Alexander Sergunin

* Benjamin Schaller

* Bepandeep Sharma

* Benjamin Johnson

11.00 Break

11.15 Rasmus Bertelsen (ISV/UiT) - Historical, current and future geostrategic role of the Barents Region in light of political and technological developments

12.15 Lunch at the Barents Institute

13.15 Paper Seminar VI

Chair: Rasmus Bertelsen

* Ivan Makhortov

* Katharina Wuropulos

* Annette Toivonen

* Athanasios Vlitas

16.30 Break

17.00 Gunhild Hoogensen Gjørv (CPS/UiT) – Extractives industries and contestations between environmental, economic, energy and human security perspectives

18.00 Break

18.15 Gunhild Hoogensen Gjørv (CPS/UiT) - The unexceptional migration experience within the context of Arctic/Nordic Exceptionalism

19.15 Break

19.30 Dinner at Surf&Turf

Thursday April 19

08.30 Lecture by Thomas Nilsen (The independent Barents Observer)

09.45 Presentation by the Border Commissionary

10.50 Bus to Storskog

11.40 Lunch at Gapahuken

12.30 Buss excursion Pasvik/Bjørnevatn

16.00 Meeting with the Barentssekretariatet

17.30 Dinner at Café Visit

19.00 UTSYN panel debate, open to the public, in the panel:

Eldar Berli, former chief of the Northern Brigade in the Norwegian Army

Kristian Berg Harpviken, former director and researcher at the Peace Research Institute of Oslo (PRIO)

Lars Georg Fordal, head of the Barents secretariat

Alexander Sergunin, professor in International relations, St.Petersburg State University

Friday April 20

09.00 Closing

10.00 Departure


Application deadline: February 1st 2018  


Exam:  Essay/Paper of ca 3000 words, submitted by set deadline after the course, to be assessed on a Pass/Fail basis

Curriculum: 500 pages, whereof 150 pages are self-selected (to be approved upon exam assessment)


Apply online at:

  • NB! Application code: 9306, Course code: SVF-8058

Documented enrollment in a PhD program or documented MA degree. Applicants from enlisted countries must also document English proficiency.

For details, please see Course description:
For those admitted to the course, the organisers will book and cover accommodation with breakfast and program listed meals (lunch and dinner on course days). In addition, the organisers offers reimbursement of airfare upon required documentation (details will be posted) of UP TO 5000,- NOK from Norway/Europe and UP TO 12000,- NOK from outside Europe. Other costs like airport transportation, additional meals, taxi etc will not be covered.

Course Literature:


Bogdan, Ioan, Maria Claudia Mera and Florin Ioan Oroian (2014). “Determinations and Conditionality in the Context of Migration in the European Union” in Eurolimes: Oradea, Vol. 18, p.111-126.

Bones, Stian (2012). “Renegotiating neighbourliness. The Stoltenberg - Kozyrev connection” in Myklebost, Kari Aga and Stian Bones (eds.) and Caution and Compliance. Norwegian-Russian diplomatic relations 1814-2014, Orkana Akademisk.

Foxall, Andrew (2017). “Russia's Policies towards a Changing Arctic” in Russia Studies Centre Research Paper, No.12, Henry Jackson Society.

Gjørv, Gunhild Hoogensen (2017). “Tensions between Environmental, Economic, and Energy Security in the Arctic” chapter 4 in Fondahl, Gail and Gary Wilson (eds) Northern Sustainabilities: Understanding and Addressing Change in a Circumpolar World, Springer International Publishing, p.35-46.

Ivanova, Aytalina and Florian Stammler (2015). “Resources, rights and communities: extractive mega-projects and local people in the Russian Arctic” in Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 68(7), p.1220-1244.

Lindsey, George (1989). ”Strategic stability in the Arctic” in The Adelphi Papers, Vol. 29, Issue 241.

Mavroudi, Elizabeth, and Caroline Nagel (2016). “Refugees” chapter 5 in Global Migration, Routledge, p.118-150.

Myklebost, Kari Aga (2012). “Nokolai Prebensen and Norway’s first legation in Russia 1906-1920” in Myklebost, Kari Aga and Stian Bones (eds.) and Caution and Compliance. Norwegian-Russian diplomatic relations 1814-2014, Orkana Akademisk.

Nielsen, Jens Petter (2002). “The Russia of the Tsar and North Norway. "The Russian Danger" Revisited” in Acta Borealia, Vol. 19(1), p.75-94.

Pezard, Stephanie et al. (2017). Maintaining Arctic Cooperation with Russia, RAND.

Sergunin, Alexander and Valery Konychev (2016). Russia in the Arctic. Hard or soft power?, Ibidem Verlag.

Sergunin, Alexander and valery Konychev (2017). “Russian military strategies in the Arctic; change or contiuity?”, in European Security.

Stammler, F. and L. Sidorova (2015). “Dachas on permafrost: the creation of nature among Arctic Russian city-dwellers” in Polar Record, Vol. 51(06), p.576–589.

Not available online:

Bolotova, Alla and Florian Stammler (2010). “How the North became home. Attachment to Place among Industrial Migrants in Murmansk region” chapter 10 in Southcott, C. and L. Huskey (eds.) Migration in the Circumpolar North: Issues and Contexts University of Alberta CCI Occasional Publication No. 64, p.193-220.

Recommended for those who read in Norwegian:

Rowe, Lar, Jørgen Holten Jørgensen and Geir Hønneland (2015). Vårt bilde av Russland: 25 debattinnlegg om naboskap i nord (Our image of Russia: 25 commentaries on neighbourhood in the High North), John Grieg Forlag Rowe, Lars (2015) “Fra unntakstilstand til en ny normal” (From State of Emergency to New Normalcy) in Holtsmark, Sven (ed) Naboer i frykt og forventning: Norge og Russland 1917-2014 (Neighbors in Fear and Expectation: Norway and Russia 1917-2014), Pax forlag, p.628-632. Rowe, Lars (2018). “Fornuft og følelser: Norge og Russland etter Krim” (Sense and sensibility: Norway and Russia after Crimea), Nordisk Østforum, Vol. 32, pp. 1-20.