• Joakim Nørkjær Holmgaard
  • Nanna Kjær Nielsen
  • Katherina Madhuri Nielsen
The past year has been turbulent when following Greenlandic-Danish security politics. The slow policy process of the Arctic Capability Package (ACP) caused major disagreements between the Danish government in Copenhagen and the Greenlandic semi-autonomous Naalakkersuisut (Self-government) in Nuuk. In February 2021, the ACP was presented at a press conference, where only Danish parliamentarians were present, causing dissatisfaction in Greenlandic political circles. This led to protests from Greenlandic politicians about the lack of the legally obliged inclusion of Greenlandic authorities in the security policy processes concerning Greenlandic territory. The Danish government and the Naalakkersuisut signed an additional Principle Agreement, that specified and altered parts of the original ACP in May 2022. The analysis in this thesis is based on interviews with experts and actors from the policy process as well as the official documents leading to and forming the ACP: the Arctic Analysis of 2016; Principle Agreement of the ACP.
This thesis studies the complex policy process of the ACP through the framework of the policy cycle as it is described by Howlett and Ramesh (2003). The five stages of the policy cycle constitute the main structure of the analytical approach, yet it becomes increasingly complex due to the untraditional procedure of the development of the ACP. In addition, this project employed Bacchi’s (2009) version of the “What’s the problem represented to be?” (WPR) in the first stage of the policy cycle, agenda-setting. The WPR supported the mapping of the problem which the Danish government presents within the ACP. The WPR was utilised to ensure that the thesis focuses on the right problem without being biased and promoting any political ideologies when analysing the policy cycle. Furthermore, the decision-making stage applies Hayes’ (in Morcol, 2007) version of Lindblom’s (1965) theory of incrementalism. The discussion utilises the findings in the analysis for a reflection of the challenged communication flows between Greenlandic and Danish authorities. The chapter also discusses how postcolonial ties and the contrasting military traditions in Greenland and Denmark can be argued to affect current policy processes and legal structures. 
This project concludes that a poor flow of communication and information are one of the main reasons for the overwhelming complexity of formulating and implementing an Arctic security and defence policy in the Kingdom of Denmark. The Greenlandic policy actors have been found to be limited in their access to information and consultation, thereby also in the decision-making process. This is caused partly due to the vague definitions in the legal foundation of Greenlandic inclusion security policy formulation concerning the Arctic region of the Kingdom of Denmark.
Publication date2022
Number of pages90
ID: 471731395