• Kamilla Rathcke Solevad Engesgaard
4. term, European Studies, Master (Master Programme)
This thesis examines what matters of security that can be identified in the public consultation processes in 2014 and 2021, concerning the mining project in the mountain of Kuannersuit in South Greenland. In a theory-driven research design based on the theoretical framework of the Theory of Securitization by Barry Buzan, Ole Wæver and Jaap de Wilde (1998) from the Copenhagen School, this thesis conducts deductive coding and thematic analysis. The empirical data constitutes 51 written consultation responses and one transcript of a public consultation meeting, produced in 2014 and 2021 in connection with the public consultation processes concerning the mining project in Kuannersuit. With the ontological and epistemological approaches of constructionism and interpretivism, this thesis also investigates how the discipline of security studies can be applied to the public discussion on the mining project in Kuannersuit and future mining in Greenland. The thesis demonstrates how actors claim security, by labelling environmental, economic, and societal issues as a matter of concern, throughout the consultation processes. This is shown in the argumentation of environmental conditions, economic conditions, and societal conditions being affected by the mining project in Kuannersuit. The analysis of these argued security issues, showed that there was a mutual underlying cross-sectoral referent object (that which is threatened), which constitute a two-sided understanding of Greenlandic independence. The project in Kuannersuit is argued as both a means to greater economic independence, thus securing future Greenlandic independence, but also, that the project stands as a threat towards citizen co-determination and participation in local community development. In the thesis however, the theory of securitization also demonstrated that the framework has limitations in its application of threats and referent objects. But by following the theory's definition and application of the widened security agenda, it provided an opportunity to identify issues that are argued as related to security complexes, but which not necessarily is part of a securitizing practice. Thus, the theory proves applicable when trying to identify issues that take the form of matters of security, even though these issues may not apply in a securitizing practice as per the theory of securitization. In a discussion, about the Greenlandic uranium law from 2021, the thesis argued the law to be, to a lesser extend, an expression of the Greenlandic Parliament exercising political measures towards the securitization of independence, and more to be an expression of Greenlandic political attention on what kind of Greenland the citizens wish for the future.
Publication date31 May 2022
Number of pages84
ID: 471709960