Since the end of the Cold War, the Arctic has increasingly come forth as an international region with a collective voice in the international arena, captured by the expression "The Age of the Arctic."218 The interaction of policy priorities and knowledge production has been central in building this regional identity. A key policy driver has been the ambition to cross the previous East-West divide and in this endeavour the important tools have been scientific and environmental cooperation. The scientific community has had an interest in cooperation as it has created access to previously closed areas. Arctic indigenous peoples started cooperating across national borders already during the Cold War. For them, the emerging political and scientific cooperation provided a circumpolar venue for becoming active participants in knowledge production with international ramifications. In terms of the analytical lenses of regimes and actor networks, the 1990s was a time of, at least the partial merging of networks from conventional western science, indigenous political movements, and foreign policy interests of Arctic nation states. The emerging Arctic regime created the Arctic Council as its formal decision-making forum. The most critical structural determinant of this development, or at least the timing of events, appears to have been the collapse of the Soviet Union and the consequent ease of East-West tensions. This precipitated a shift of state interests in favor of collaboration and regime building rather than maintaining military security concerns as the key issue for the region.
215 Gunilla Johansson, Chris Paci, and Sylvi Hovdenack Stenersen, "Education," in Arctic Human Development Report, ed. AHDR, 169-185 (Akureyri: Stefansson Arctic Institute, 2004), 182.
216 Report of the ACSYS Final Science Conference. WCRP-120, WMO/TD No. 1249, September 2004.
217 Second International Conference on Arctic Research Planning (ICARPII). The Arctic System in a Changing World. Conference Proceeding. Copenhagen Denmark, 1-2 November 2005, ed. Sara Bowden, (Edmonton: Nisku Printing, 2005).
218 Oran R. Young, "The Age of the Arctic," Foreign Policy 61, (1985): 160.
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