Module 1 of a two-module course
As the Arctic ice cap melts, interests are shifting, and the Arctic is quickly becoming a contested space. The melting ice (and improved technologies) have opened the Arctic as never before, creating a scramble for natural resources (especially oil and gas reserves), the opening of shipping routes and issues regarding the freedom of navigation, competing sovereignty claims, security concerns and evidence of the region’s militarization.
This module brings to bear competing interests in and perspectives on the Arctic, including different disciplinary, stakeholder, and theoretical perspectives. In the first rendition of this module (Spring 2015), it covered three class periods and included two central parts: visits from the other two members of Team Coe and a two-day simulation.
Note: Content adapted from curricular project.
I employed this module in World Politics, a writing-emphasis course designed to teach students relevant concepts and theoretical frameworks, so they can “analyze headlines yet to come” (Hastedt et al. 2015, xivii) in order to:
- Expose them to key thinkers and sources.
- Push students to think critically about important and enduring ideas and issues in world politics.
- Understand and explain the alternative perspectives involved in policy debates.
- Clarify their own perspectives.
- Consider the connections among basic concepts, their own perspectives and values, and particular issues.
This module touches on numerous “Big Ideas”: the global commons, global and regional governance, globalization, global climate change, and contestation. Students should be familiar with these ideas before this module begins. The skill required to successfully complete the module is the ability to convey – clearly, concisely, and persuasively – a position on a given issue.
This module was used towards the end of the semester as part of a larger analysis of the global commons and global climate change.