A diplomatic crisis was sparked in 2014 when the US awarded the Pituffik air base maintenance con ... Read more
A diplomatic crisis was sparked in 2014 when the US awarded the Pituffik air base maintenance contract to an American company rather than a Greenlandic-Danish one. Following negotiations led to two Memoranda of Understanding between Greenland and the US, aiming to further develop cooperation on areas within Greenlandic authority. The MoUs marked a new bilateral relationship between Greenland and the US and were followed up with an ‘economic growth package’ of initiatives funded by the US, amounting to USD 12 million. Taking these developments as case studies, and based, e.g., on qualitative interviews with Greenlandic, Danish, and American officials, this article sets out a process tracing analysis of why Greenland and the US chose to further their direct cooperation. The article also discusses whether and how the US-Greenlandic relationship has changed over the past two decades.
En diplomatisk krise blev udløst i 2014, da USA tildelte servicekontrakten på Pituffik-basen til en amerikansk virksomhed i stedet for en grønlandsk-dansk virksomhed. Efterfølgende forhandlinger førte til to grønlandsk-amerikanske aftalememoranda om videreudvikling af samarbejdet på områder inden for grønlandsk myndighedsansvar. De markerede et nyt bilateralt forhold mellem Grønland og USA og blev fulgt op af en “økonomisk vækstpakke” af initiativer finansieret af USA med 12 millioner USD. Med disse udviklinger som cases, og baseret på bl.a. kvalitative interviews med grønlandske, danske og amerikanske embedsmænd, præsenterer denne artikel først en procesanalyse af, hvorfor Grønland og USA valgte at fremme deres direkte samarbejde. Dernæst diskuterer artiklen, om og hvordan forholdet mellem USA og Grønland har ændret sig over de seneste to årtier.
As a self-governing nation that exercises jurisdiction over most policy areas, Greenland is const ... Read more
As a self-governing nation that exercises jurisdiction over most policy areas, Greenland is constantly testing its foreign policy and self-determination action space. Predominantly having aimed at increasing its action space towards Denmark, especially since inaugurating home rule in 1979 and self-government in 2009, Greenland has for the past decade been increasing its engagement as a direct partner to the US. In this paper, I analyse three cases where the Greenland-Denmark-US relations in different ways are delimited and affected by great power relations between the US, China, and Russia. In doing so, I demonstrate how Greenland increasingly uses its action space to affect the outcome of policies and initiatives that lie within the ‘grey zones’ between Greenlandic and Danish power relations. The paper contributes to the understanding of how state-like actors balance their relations in ambiguous ways towards larger states and creates action spaces to determine their own futures. The article argues that Greenland, by balancing the internal and external limitations determined by Greenland’s relations to Denmark and the US, is creating an ambiguous action space, where Greenlandic politicians can and do affect their action options. At the same time, these politicians must acknowledge that Greenland’s action space is constantly evolving against a backdrop of deepening relations between Nuuk and Washington, as well as increasing international tensions. The article is based on an analysis of official documents, media outlets and elite interviews.