Dissertations and Theses

Date of Award


Document Type



International Relations


Unclos, Barents Sea, Beaufort Sea


The predicted prosperity of the Arctic has propelled countries to compete over territory and natural resources lying beneath the water. There is no doubt that a huge amount of potential natural resources in the disputed areas can cause significant tensions between the countries. Therefore, this paper aims to assess the cooperation and conflict dilemma in the Arctic. I examine the Barents Sea dispute and the Beaufort Sea dispute as case studies to demonstrate the potential for cooperation in the Arctic. I claim that the settlement of the Barents Sea dispute between Norway and Russia gives important lessons on how to solve the Beaufort Sea dispute between the United States and Canada. I will argue that cooperation, not conflict, will dominate future relations in the Arctic region. Even though the right to the Arctic resources may trigger conflict and rising tensions, we live in the increasingly interdependent world, where cooperation is not an option, but rather an obligation. In addition, this thesis will introduce the significance of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and its role in facilitating cooperation in the maritime boundary delimitation issues. I believe that the Arctic region can bring states together to confront shared challenges, solve common problems, and enjoy the benefits that the improved access to the region's resources will bring.



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