Marc Jacobsen defends his PhD thesis at the Department of Political Science

Marc JacobsenCandidate

Marc Jacobsen


"Arctic identity interactions: Reconfiguring dependency in Greenland’s and Denmark’s foreign policies.
The thesis is available as an e-book via Academic books.

Time and venue

Wednesday 27 November 2019 at 14:00 at the University of Copenhagen, Centre for Health and Society, Department of Political Science, Øster Farimagsgade 5, DK-1353 Copenhagen K., room 4.2.26. Kindly note that the defence will start precisely at 14:00.

Assessment committee

  • Senior researcher Kristian Søby Kristensen, Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen (chair)
  • Instituttdirektør, NOVA, Iver Neumann, Oslo, Norway
  • Professor Elana Wilson Rowe, NUPI, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, Norway


Donald Trump’s idea of buying Greenland encapsulates well, how the increased international Arctic attention brings new opportunities and challenges to Denmark and Greenland’s mutual relationship, and to their common and respective roles in international politics. This PhD dissertation investigates how foreign policy representatives use the Arctic attention to position Greenland and Denmark internationally – together as well as separately. As Denmark’s status as an Arctic state depends on Greenland’s geographic location and continuous membership of the Danish Realm, it is interesting to examine how this reconfigured dependency gives the Greenland representatives an ‘Arctic advantage’. An advantage which is used to enhance Greenland’s foreign policy autonomy and to alter the postcolonial relationship into one of more equality.

How Greenland’s and Denmark’s foreign policy representatives (inter)act in discursive Arctic contexts is examined through five different articles. These focus on discourse and praxis within the Arctic Council, circumpolar conferences and concrete tri- and bilateral relations, but they also take into account how potential mining projects and questions of sustainability activate postcolonial nuances about who has the ultimate right to decide. As such, all the articles contribute to a better understanding of Greenland’s and Denmark’s Arctic affairs, while some of them are also part of other academic advancements contributing with new theoretically informed perspectives on Arctic security developments and adding new understandings of how the concept of sustainability is used politically in the Arctic.