Report 40 (2014)   

Towards the Geopolitics of Flows:
Implications for Finland

Published 9.6.2014

Mika Aaltola, Juha Käpylä, Harri Mikkola, Timo Behr
Finnish Institute of International Affairs

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Geopolitics is increasingly defined by the strengthening force of stable and secure global flows of goods, resources, finance, people and information. These flows rely on and use the various common domains: the high seas, airspace, space and cyberspace. This report highlights a shift away from territorial geopolitics towards the geopolitics of global flows and global commons, and analyzes the implications of this geopolitical transformation to Finland.

Stemming from this framework, the report analyzes the transforming global maritime domain with the particular focus on the Finnish maritime proximity in the Arctic. It is suggested that while gradually more important and global, practical challenges hinder the Arctic transformation and the current Arctic expectations are over-hyped.

The report concludes with an analysis on the possibilities of Finnish national preparedness planning in the world of global flows. The report argues that understanding (geo)political changes in the framework of global and regional interconnectedness is likely to become increasingly vital for overall national security. As Finland is likely to be increasingly dependent on global flows, autonomous and self-sufficient national preparedness and especially security of supply actions by national authorities are considered to be increasingly difficult. This is increasingly challenging old policy solutions, most notably national self-reliance, and calls for a new paradigm for national preparedness planning.

The FIIA report Towards the Geopolitics of Flows: Implications to Finland is the final output of a research project funded by the Scientific Advisory Board for Defence and the National Emergency Supply Agency.