Area III: Transnational Engagements: Conflict, Development and Sustainability

The area focuses on development, reconstruction and security discourses in various geographic settings. A comparative approach draws on concepts, such as transnational politics; gender, conflict and war; securitization/desecuritization; military/civil cooperation or divide; the role of international organizations and development dependencies; neo-colonialism/post-colonialism; post-conflict reconstruction and democratization; development; peacekeeping and peace-building; human rights; and transnational aspects of climate change, the “North”, and regional and human development. The area includes two themes:

 

THEME 5: TRANSNATIONAL DISCOURSES ON DEVELOPMENT, CONFLICT, AND SECURITY

The focus is on development cooperation from various transnational, national, and local perspectives.  It includes the intermeshing of discourses and practices, which have been put under the rubric of “developed” and “developing” countries. The theme ties directly with the objective of the GEST Programme at the University of Iceland – a cooperation project with the Icelandic Foreign Ministry – which is to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in developing countries and conflict/post-conflict societies. It also involves a critical engagement with penal humanitarianism as New venues will also be explored for looking critically at established foreign, military, and security policy discourses, using human, geopolitical, gender, societal, economic, and environmental security approaches.

 

THEME 6: THE GEOPOLITICS OF CLIMATE CHANGE, REPRESENTATIONS OF THE “NORTH,” AND REGIONAL AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT

The research concentrates on the politics, cultures, and sociologies of the Arctic and the multiple transnational effects of climate change.  One goal is to define and “claim” the “North” in terms of geopolitics, law, “cultural heritage,” tourism, gender, social and cultural sustainability, security, sovereignty, and the economy.  This includes an analysis of the role of regional institutions and international agreements and factors such as human development, the rights of “indigenous people,” and social, economic, and cultural sustainability.  The impact of the restructuring of regions is a key area of research. Finally, the focus is on the current transnational jockeying – to carve out a role in the “re-territorialization” of the “North” with a focus on the Arctic as a natural-resource base, an eco-system, and a potentially contested political and military terrain.