Benjamin Schaller

UiT - The Arctic University of Norway, Centre for Peace Studies (CPS); German Federal Foreign Office - Department for Conventional Arms Control and Confidence- and Security-Building Measures in the OSCE area

Benjamin Schaller
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Building Trust in a Changing Arctic Security Environment? The Role of Military Co-Operation and Confidence and Security Building Measures (CSBM) in the Construction of Security Communities

The Arctic security environment is currently probably facing some of its biggest challenges in history. In my research project, I am interested in exploring, how the Arctic states view the current security situation in the Arctic region, what kind of security challenges they anticipate and what strategies they pursue to address these challenges. In this context, I am particularly interested in the roles of military co-operation, Confidence and Security Building Measures and direct military-to-military contacts and to what extend those can be facilitators within a changing Arctic security environment. For this purpose, I plan to conduct several semi-structured interviews with military officials from Norway, Sweden, Canada and Russia which ideally include officers who work with the implementation of arms control and CSBM as well as officers that are involved in the planning, participation or observation of multilateral exercises. I hope to complement this data with relevant field observations regarding the social dynamics between these different groups of soldiers during military exercises and the implementation of arms control and CSBM regimes.

With my research, I want to improve our understanding of the different processes of trust building between armed forces and highlight possibilities for co-operative approaches to military security in the Arctic region. Through this I hope that my findings will also support the work of policy makers and practitioners.