The Faroese Sub-State Unit’s Response to Arctic Political Development

Hallbera West

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The Arctic is undergoing a process of political region building, including an institutional development of the Arctic Council.
Also, the region is attracting attention from a multitude of actors and institutions, including the world’s superpowers. A country
facing implications related to this development is the Faroe Islands. The increasing attention towards the Faroe Islands is
familiar considering previous Cold War experiences. However, the de-facto autonomy and internal institutional development
within the Faroese sub-state unit means that the situation today is different. Thus, Arctic development calls for political
attention. This article focuses on the opportunities for the Faroe Islands not only as a sub-state unit but also as a micro sized
political unit to conduct foreign policy activity related to Arctic development and to what extent the political system in fact is
responding and addressing the development. The expectation is that considering the increase in the salience of Arctic related
issues the Faroese political system to a higher degree prioritizes Arctic related issues compared to a decade ago. The article
shows that despite formal limitations there still is room for foreign policy manoeuvres and despite limited capacity the political
system still has prioritised to develop relevant competences to facilitate foreign policy related activity. The investigation shows
that today the political system to a higher extent responds to Arctic development, especially on the governmental level, but also
to some extent on the parliamentary level and even on the political party level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)Section II
Number of pages17
JournalArctic Yearbook
Publication statusPublished - 19 Nov 2021


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