Victoria Sweet


The circumpolar Arctic region is at the forefront of rapid change, and with change come potential threats to human security. Numerous factors determine what makes a state, a community, or an individual feel secure. For example, extractive industry development can bring economic benefits to an area, but these development projects also bring security concerns, including potential human rights violations. While security concerns connected with development projects have been studied in southern hemisphere countries and countries classified as “developing,” concerns connected with extractive industry development projects in “developed” countries like the United States have received little attention. This Article will change that by focusing on the human security risks that extractive industry development poses to indigenous women living in the circumpolar region of the United States. Part II focuses on the definitions of human security and how a human security approach differs from traditional security analysis. Part III reviews examples of human rights violations associated with extractive industry development projects and identifies specific risk factors that make it more likely that a project will lead to human rights violations. Part IV provides suggestions regarding how these risks might be mitigated.