Governments’ interests to control their territories and the mobility across borders have increased in the Global North, including the Arctic region. Geopolitical tensions and especially the fear of increased irregular migration have posed questions regarding the openness of the borders even in the Nordic context where people have traditionally crossed borders on a daily basis and where institutional cross-border cooperation has flourished for a half a century. As a result borders are increasingly approached from the perspective of security than cooperation. Even if border securitization may create new forms of connectivity among security authorities, security companies and nationalist movements, it severely disrupts other forms of mobility and collaboration.

The session invites scholars and policy makers to discuss in what ways the securitization of borders impacts cooperation and trust-building in the Artic regions. It will raise debate over border and migration securitization as a regional question, and what existing and new alternative forms of Arctic cooperation could be utilized in order to diminish possible mental and physical barriers that emerged national and supra-national border securitization discourses and related practices impose.