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Managing Complexity: Addressing Societal Security Challenges in the Baltic Sea Region

Publisher: SIPRI
December, 2018

More than 150 policymakers, researchers and practitioners gathered at Fotografiska in Stockholm on 11–12 June 2018 for the international conference ‘Managing complexity: Addressing societal security challenges in the Baltic Sea region’ co-hosted by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Sweden. The conference discussed strategies for protecting the safety of people and building effective resilience in the face of various contingencies, ranging from climate change to terrorism and major infrastructural disruption. The transnational nature of many societal security challenges requires regional cooperation. Regional cooperation is not only more effective than the efforts of a single state, but also a necessary aspect of national preparedness. Cooperation in the Baltic Sea region has evolved to include the societal safety and security issues on the agenda of regional institutions such as the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS). Through three plenary sessions and six breakout sessions the conference explored best practices and lessons learned from national and regional approaches to dealing with societal security challenges.


1. Societal security challenges in the Baltic Sea region: The scope of the problems

2. Climate change adaptation and civil protection: Building the synergies

3. Nuclear security cooperation in the Baltic Sea region: Developing regional mechanisms to combat nuclear smuggling

4. Strengthening resilience against extremism: The case of the information society

5. Baltic Sea Action Plan: Efforts for a healthy Baltic Sea

6. Making cities safe in the Baltic Sea region: Opportunities and challenges in implementing UN Sustainable Development Goal 11

7. Gender-based violence: Enhancing regional knowledge and local capacity

8. A new strategy for the Arctic Council: Challenges and opportunities

9. The way ahead: How to manage complex societal security challenges in the Baltic Sea region