Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2016

Department

International Studies

Language

English

Publication Title

Review of International Studies

Abstract

As a result of global warming and melting of the icecaps, Greenland has gained access to new mineral reserves, which potentially provide a means of long-term economic growth. The principles of globalization and commercial liberalism suggest that providing valuable resources in the international economy will not only integrate Greenland into the global economy, but will also prove beneficial for Greenland’s economic development. As a consequence, Greenland will be able to invest not only in its growth, but also in measures to mitigate a variety of short and long-term security risks.

This research uses Donella Meadows’ method of systems analysis to show a relationship between Greenland’s resources, the global market, and financial growth that both drives development and builds “resistance”, allowing the country to cope with security threats. The market value of potential iron, gold, zinc, lead, and oil reserves, identified by geological surveys, initially indicate that taxation of mineral extraction revenues will yield substantial financial returns. Analysis suggests that these revenues could offset losses associated with threats such as a declining fishing industry and oil spills. In the long-term, resource revenues cannot entirely abate the threats of climate change, threats to national security, or Inuit cultural loss; however, they will permit substantial investment in mitigation measures which will enable Greenland to endure these security threats. That being said, in order to substantially improve both its security and development, Greenland must proactively manage these revenues.