CONNECTIVITY CONVERSATIONS #2: Trans-Arctic submarine data cables: Possibilities and obstacles

Webinar · 18.01.2023 10:00 - 11:15

Modern societies and the internet are dependent on the flawless functioning of the submarine fiber-optic cable network lying at the bottom of oceans and seas, handling 99 percent of international data traffic. Besides offering the shortest distance and thus the fastest connections between Northern Europe, North America and East Asia, the planned trans-Arctic submarine fiber-optic cable systems could bring long-awaited diversity and robustness into an overconcentrated global infrastructure vulnerable to natural and man-made hazards. However, the uncertainties connected with the development of a new route and landing sites, in combination with factors related to geopolitical tensions, have already delayed or terminated several projects.

This webinar focuses on recent developments in ongoing projects and assesses reasons behind the failures of projects that have ceased to exist. While approaching the trans-Arctic cable projects mainly from the Nordic and Japanese perspectives, with a focus on overall economic feasibility, security and academic cooperation, attention is also paid to the potential role this kind of infrastructure could play in the small Arctic communities hosting cable landing points along the route. 

PROGRAMME

Speaker:
Juha Saunavaara, Associate Professor, Hokkaido University Arctic Research Center (Social Science and Humanities Research Group)

Discussant:
Mirva Salminen, Assistant Professor in Societal Security, UiT – The Arctic University of Norway (Research Group ’Risk, Crisis, and Societal Security’ (RCSS))

Chair:
Bart Gaens, Leading Researcher, FIIA

 

Register to follow the webinar here.

Puhujat

Speaker

Juha Saunavaara

Associate Professor, Hokkaido University Arctic Research Center (Social Science and Humanities Research Group)

Juha Saunavaara, Associate Professor at the Hokkaido University Arctic Research Center (Social Science and Humanities Research Group). He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Oulu and holds the Title of Docent at the University of Turku. Juha has published in peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes representing various fields ranging from area (Arctic and Japanese) studies and international relations to history and geography. His current research focuses on telecommunication and transport infrastructure and connectivity in and through the Arctic, the development of northern and Arctic data center industry, regional development, and non-state actors’ international cooperation. Juha has initiated and participates in various projects based on industry-academia-government collaboration, and he is actively seeking new ways of contributing to Finnish-Japanese relations and cooperation.

Discussant

Mirva Salminen

Assistant Professor in Societal Security, UiT - The Arctic University of Norway (Research Group 'Risk, Crisis, and Societal Security' (RCSS))

Mirva Salminen is an Assistant Professor in Societal Security at The Arctic University of Norway (UiT) and a Project Specialist at Aalto University. She specialises in cybersecurity, commercialisation of security and digital governance and competition in the Arctic.

Chair

Bart Gaens

Leading Researcher, FIIA

Bart Gaens is Leading Researcher at FIIA’s Global Security Research Programme. From May 2021 until April 2023, he is in charge of a project on connectivity in the Indo-Pacific region. He also holds the title of Docent at the Faculty of Arts at the University of Helsinki. In the past he has worked as Project Director for the Center on US Politics and Power (CUSPP), as Professor of Japanese Studies at the University of Helsinki, and as Specially Appointed Associate Professor at Osaka University, Japan.

He has published widely on Europe-Asia interregionalism and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) process, Japan’s foreign policy and regional role, India’s foreign policy and relations with the EU, domestic politics in Myanmar, and security-related issues in the Indo-Pacific region. He has also (co)edited volumes and reports on connectivity, EU-Asia relations, the US-China rivalry, transatlantic relations, and Japan’s search for strategic partnerships.