ASTK18246U Greenland at the crossroads: Climate change, Asian interest in the Arctic and developments in Greenland

Volume 2019/2020

Security Risk Management

Political Science students: Limited intake

SRM students have priority


ECTS points:

Bachelor student (2012 programme curriculum): 10 ECTS

Bachelor student (2017 programme curriculum): 7.5 ECTS

Master student: 7.5 ECTS


The course will consider what Greenlandic actors can do with their overall ambitions of economic development and, eventually, political independence facing several challenges that originate in both internal and external pressures in the changing geopolitical context of the Arctic: Which ideas and  instruments of governance, economic resources, nation building and state formation is available for Greenland in the present circumstances? Ongoing climate changes have catapulted Greenland into the proclaimed role of the messenger of the rapid changes going on in the Arctic as a warning of future challenges globally. At the same time, Greenland is a gate to opportunities that the Arctic offers a growing world population with growing demands for resources that the climate change is reported to make more accessible. The course will discuss scenarios for development in Greenland within the context of developments in the Arctic and of the relations between Greenland and Denmark by focusing on dynamics in three areas of drastic change: Continuing climate change, increasing Asian interests in the Arctic together with the resulting governance implications for Greenland

Learning Outcome


The course objective is to enable students to demonstrate knowledge of the main strands of the scientific literature, reports and white papers within political theory, comparative politics and international relations.



The course objective is to enable students to apply theories and analyse one or more cases comparing single aspect or/and asses the interactions of several aspects, and be able to make informed, analytical evaluations of the developments, present situation or/and future perspectives.



The course objective is to enable students to fulfil academic functions in public and private enterprises, and adequately handle these in national and international contexts, and successfully to continue their education at the postgraduate level.

Textbook, journal articles and book chapters

Textbook: Joan Nymand Larsen & Gail Fondahl (eds.). 2015. Arctic Human Development Report: Regional Processes and Global Linkages, Copenhagen: Nordic Council of Ministers (available online at: http:/​/​​10.6027/​TN2014-567)


Journal articles and book chapters: See Absalon

The teaching will be based on the principle of ‘student-centred learning’ and takes the form of lectures, student presentations and discussions as well as presentations by invited guests and visits at institutions dealing with different aspects of developments in the Arctic. Feedback and advice based on a 1-3 pages abstract of the final assignment submitted during the course.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 28
  • Total
  • 28
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Free assignment
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship

Free written assignment

Criteria for exam assesment
  • Grade 12 is given for an outstanding performance: the student lives up to the course's goal description in an independent and convincing manner with no or few and minor shortcomings
  • Grade 7 is given for a good performance: the student is confidently able to live up to the goal description, albeit with several shortcomings
  • Grade 02 is given for an adequate performance: the minimum acceptable performance in which the student is only able to live up to the goal description in an insecure and incomplete manner