High School Debate Topic 2014

World Ocean Resources: Russia & East Asia

Many potentially contentious political issues revolve around the world's oceans: domain, territoriality, freedom of transit, over-fishing, development of mineral resources, protection of resources, protection of marine life and environment, and much more. These issues involve, although they are certainly not limited to, two crucial world regions: East Asia and Russia.

We've compiled some links to online resources for anyone who wants to better understand ocean issues in these parts of the world, but in particular for high school debaters, who are addressing the topic of ocean exploration and development during the 2014-2015 academic year.

About the Debate Topic

This is the 2014 National High School Debate Topic from the National Speech and Debate Association.
Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its non-military exploration and/or development of the Earth's oceans.

The Kansas State High School Activities Association has some additional analysis on what this topic might cover.


General Resources: Russia and the Arctic Ocean

Laruelle, Marlene, Russia’s Arctic Strategies and the future of the Far North, ME Sharpe, 2014
(Laruelle’s book is listed first, out of alphabetical order, because it is the mother of all sources on Russia’s strategic interests and policies in the Arctic Ocean. Some chapters relate to RF policies in the Far North (meaning land-based), but most of the book is quotable material for anyone researching this topic)

Blank, Stephen. Russia in the Arctic. Strategic Studies Institute, 2011. Chapters include:

  • Cohen, Ariel. "Russia in the Arctic: Challenges to US Energy and Geopolitics in the High North."
  • Golts, Alexander’. “The Arctic: A Clash of Interests or Clash of Ambitions.”
  • Laruelle, Marlene “Russian Military Presence in the High North: Projection of Power and Capacities of Action.”

Borgerson, Scott. "The Coming Arctic Boom: As the Ice Melts, the Region Heats Up," Foreign Affairs. 92 (2013): 76.

Council on Foreign Relations, The Emerging Arctic, 2013.

Gjørv, Gunhild Hoogensen, et al., eds. Environmental and Human Security in the Arctic. Routledge, 2013.

Gorenburg, Dmitry, “How to Understand Russia’s Arctic Strategy,” Washington Post’s Monkey Cage (Blog), Feb. 12, 2014  

Manicom, James. "Identity Politics and the Russia-Canada Continental Shelf Dispute: An Impediment to Cooperation?." Geopolitics 18.1 (2013): 60-76.

Wilde, Silvio, et al. The Battle for the Worldwide Natural Resources-International Strategies and their Impacts: Analyzing the Conflict for Arctic Resources. GRIN Verlag, 2012.

World Economic, Forum (2014) Demystifying the Arctic [PDF]. Authored by the Members of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on the Arctic, Davos-Klosters, Switzerland 22-25 January 2014. Working Paper. World Economic Forum. 

Zysk, Katarzyna. “The Evolving Arctic Security Environment: An Assessment.”


Legal Framework & Arctic Governance

Arctic Council: General information about the Arctic Council and its activities, as well as educational information on various subjects related to the Arctic. Has a searchable document archive, but most are working documents, rather than source-type materials. Also has list of handy acronyms and useful maps.

Arctic Portal: Originally run by the Arctic Council, now this portal serves as a clearinghouse of information on the Arctic. It has lots of resources, including a searchable archive of useful documents, as well as a list of acronyms researchers might confront in researching this topic.

Abele, Frances. "Introduction: The Arctic Council, the EU and Polar Politics: Canada, France, Germany, Russia & the UK." Northern Review 37 (2013). Entire edition of No. 37, Fall 2013, devoted to various aspects of Arctic and relationships in the region

Baker, Betsy. "Law, Science, and the Continental Shelf: the Russian Federation and the promise of Arctic cooperation." Am. U. Int'l L. Rev. 25 (2010): 251.

Byers, Michael. International law and the Arctic. No. 103. Cambridge University Press, 2013.

Caron, David D. "Climate Change and Arctic Governance: Three Images of a Changing Arctic." (2011): 155-164.

Dodds, Klaus (Royal Holloway, University of London), Global Policy, 1.3, Oct. 2010

Dodds, Klaus. "The Ilulissat Declaration (2008): The Arctic States," Law of the Sea," and Arctic Ocean." SAIS Review of International Affairs 33.2 (2013): 45-55.

Gerhardt, Hannes, et al. "Contested sovereignty in a changing Arctic." Annals of the Association of American Geographers 100.4 (2010): 992-1002.

Koivurova, Timo. "The actions of the Arctic states respecting the continental shelf: a reflective essay." Ocean Development & International Law 42.3 (2011): 211-226.


Energy Resources

Hong, Nong. Arctic Energy: Pathway to Conflict or Cooperation in the High North? Journal of Energy Security, May 31, 2011.

Johnston, Peter. "Arctic Energy Resources: Security and Environmental Implications." Journal of Strategic Security 5.3 (2012): 5.

Keil, Kathrin. "The Arctic: A new region of conflict? The case of oil and gas." Cooperation and Conflict 49.2 (2014): 162-190.

Kramer, A. E., and Clifford Krauss. "Russia Embraces Offshore Arctic Drilling." International Herald Tribune, Febr 15 (2011): 2011.

Lindholt, Lars, and Solveig Glomsrød. "The Arctic: No big bonanza for the global petroleum industry." Energy Economics 34.5 (2012): 1465-1474.

Paasche, Øyvind (2011) The Race for Arctic Energy Resources, 2011 http://library.arcticportal.org/1533/1/The-Race-for-Arctic-Energy-Resour...


Northern Sea Route

Kramer, Andrew E. "Warming Revives Dream of Sea Route in Russian Arctic." New York Times (2011).

Humpert, Malte, and Andreas Raspotnik. "The future of Arctic shipping." Port Technology International 55.11 (2012).


Methane Hydrates

Natalia Shakhova et al, Nature Geoscience 7, 64-70 (2014)

Sergienko, V. I., et al. "The degradation of submarine permafrost and the destruction of hydrates on the shelf of east arctic seas as a potential cause of the “Methane Catastrophe”: some results of integrated studies in 2011." Doklady Earth Sciences. Vol. 446. No. 1. SP MAIK Nauka/Interperiodica, 2012.

Walter, Katey, “A Sleeping Giant?” Nature Reports, March 5, 2009


Russia’s Arctic Policy

Valdai International Studies Discussion Club. "Russian Strategies in the Arctic: Avoiding a New Cold War." September 2014.

Baev, Pavel. "Russia’s arctic policy: Geopolitics, mercantilism and identity-building." Briefing Paper 73 (2010).

Brady, Anne-Marie. "Russia’s arctic strategies and the future of the Far North." The Polar Journal ahead-of-print (2014): 1-1.

Laruelle, Marlene. "Russia’s narrative on the Arctic–from patriotic rhetoric to the Arctic ‘brand’." Baltic Rim Economies 4 (2011): 5-6.

Øverland, Indra “Russia's Arctic energy policy,” International Journal, Autumn 2010
(A balanced appraisal of Russia’s Arctic policy—a very useful article for those seeking to disprove arguments that rest on Russian militarization or aggression in the Arctic. Very good primer on Russia’s energy policy in the Arctic)

Sergunin, Alexander, and Valery Konyshev. "Russia in search of its Arctic strategy: between hard and soft power?." The Polar Journal ahead-of-print (2014): 1-19.

Weir, Fred. "Russia’s Arctic ‘sea grab’." The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved (2012): 03-19.

Qi, Wang, Shi Li, and Wan Fangfang. "PRELIMINARY ANALYSIS OF KEY COMPONENTS OF ARCTIC POLITICS OF RUSSIA." Chinese Journal of Polar Research 2 (2013): 010.

Zysk, Katarzyna. "Russia's Arctic strategy: Ambitions and constraints." Joint Force Quarterly: JFQ 57 (2010): 103.

Konyshev, Valery and Alexander Sergunin. "Four Dangerous Myths about Russsia's Plans for the Arctic." Russia Direct. Nov. 24, 2014


Russian Security & Military Policy in the Arctic

See Laruelle, above. Several chapters devoted to this topic, and the potential for conflict in the region.

Åtland, Kristian. "Russia's armed forces and the Arctic: All quiet on the Northern front?." Contemporary Security Policy 32.2 (2011): 267-285.

Coffey, Luke. "NATO in the Arctic: Challenges and Opportunities." The Heritage Foundation Issue Brief 22 (2012).

Conley, Heather A., et al. "A New Security Architecture for the Arctic. An American Perspective." Center for Strategic and International Studies (January 2012) (2012).

Gorenburg, Dmitry. "Russia’s Arctic security strategy." Russian Analytical Digest 96 (2011): 12.

Oldberg, Ingmar. "Soft Security in the Arctic: The Role of Russia in the Barents Euro-Arctic Council and the Arctic Council." Swedish Institute of International Affairs Occasional Papers 4 (2011).

Roi, Michael L. "Russia: the Greatest Arctic Power?." Journal of Slavic Military Studies 23.4 (2010): 551-573.

Rynning, Sten. "Arctic Security Order: Collective Security, Collective Defense, or Something New?" Journal of Military and Strategic Studies 15.2 (2014).


Arctic Security from Other Viewpoints (including US)

Bert, Melissa. "The Arctic Is Now: Economic and National Security in the Last Frontier." American Foreign Policy Interests 34.1 (2012): 5-19.

Campbell, Caitlin. "China and the Arctic: Objectives and Obstacles." US-China Economic and Security Review Commission Staff Research Report (2012).

Charron, Andrea, Joël Plouffe, and Stéphane Roussel. "The Russian Arctic hegemon: Foreign policy implications for Canada." Canadian Foreign Policy Journal 18.1 (2012): 38-50.

Jones, Meirion, et al. "Wikileaks Cables Show Race to Carve Up Arctic." BBC Newsnight 12 (2011).

Kraska, James, ed. Arctic Security in an Age of Climate Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011.

Perry, Charles M., and Bobby Andersen. "New strategic dynamics in the Arctic region." Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis. Feb (2012).

Smith, Reginald R. "The Arctic: A New Partnership Paradigm or the Next Cold War?" Joint Force Quarterly 62 (2011): 117-124.



Lee, Jeannette J. Lee, “New Seafloor Maps May Bolster U.S. Arctic Claims,” National Geographic News, February 12, 2008.

You can find other resources for exploring this topic on the KU Libraries pages for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies. Learning about another part of the world? Check out the KU Libraries International and Area Collections.



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