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About Gabriella Gricius

I am a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO where I also act as a Graduate Teaching Assistant. My research asks how state behavior towards unsettled spaces and actors changes, specifically in the Arctic. I also work with Dr. Wilfred Greaves and Dr. Whitney Lackenbauer at the North American and Arctic Defense and Security Network (NAADSN), focusing on human security, the role of China in the Arctic, and public opinion polls.


In my spare time, I write for a variety of online publications including Foreign Policy, Global Security Review, and Riddle Russia amongst many others. 

I am fluent in English and German and am professionally proficient in Dutch and Russian. I received certification in both Indigenous Awareness and Indigenous Communication & Consultation from Indigenous Awareness Canada. Furthermore, I have experience coding in HTML, CSS, Ruby on Rails, Python, R, LaTeX, and Javascript. When I'm not busy, I also teach yoga classes, am certified as a RYT-200 Hour Vinyasa teacher with Yoga Alliance, run marathons and do love powerlifting in my spare time. 

To see more of my publications and learn more about her experience, download my resume below.

My latest projects

My Most Recent Projects

Image by Johny Goerend
Image by Ling Tang

Security for the Small: Materializing Securitization in Finland and Norway (with Renato Fakhoury) 

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 ruptured Europe’s security constellation, leading to historically neutral Finland and Sweden to seek NATO memberships. While there is literature on how NATO influences country’s security apparatus, the impact of NATO on smaller states’ securitization capacity remains unclear. We undertake 1) a discourse analysis of Norway and Finland’s three respective Arctic strategies, 2) a discourse analysis of two online Arctic newspapers ‘High North News’ and ‘The Barents Observer’, and 3) an analysis of the allocation of Finnish and Norwegian military spending from 2014-2022. Given small states lack relative material capabilities, we argue there is a systematic deadlock in transforming securitizing moves into material action. However, as a NATO state, Norway exhibits a significantly higher level of participation in military maneuvers and additional securitizing behavior compared to Finland. By contrast, Finland relies more heavily on intense securitizing rhetoric without accompanying material actions. This was published in the Journal of Contemporary European Studies in 2024. 

China's Role in The Arctic 

Since obtaining its Observer status in the Arctic Council in 2013 and following the publication of Beijing’s 2018 White Paper on Arctic Policy, China’s role in the Arctic has been political. Thus far at NAADSN, I have published two policy primers. First, I propose the existence of a China-Arctic epistemic community of sorts as there is a relatively small number of scholars who have published extensively on the topic. These scholars explore shipping, the role of the Arctic for China’s energy security, the security implications of China in the Arctic in a competitive world, and other cooperative or conflictual readings. Second, I explore China's role in Arctic conference, finding that individuals who present at conferences on China's role in Arctic are a limited group. Third, I am currently working on a primer that explores the limited Chinese-Western cooperation nexus. 

Image by Egor Myznik

Whose Anxiety? What Practices? The Paris School and Ontological Security Studies​


The field of international security studies drastically evolved over the last few decades. Critical security studies emerged as one trend, seeking to make explicit statist orientations of traditional security studies, the Paris School being one such branch, highlighting the role of security professionals and the importance of studying repetitive regimes of practices. Other security trends tilted toward the creation of ontological security studies (OSS), placing importance on the concept of autobiographical narratives, routines, and anxiety—bringing importance to the unconscious drivers of actor behavior in IR. Given the shared focus on regimes of practices, it is surprising that these two schools of thought have not paired together to address questions of security. In this article, I will critically interrogate the literature on OSS and the Paris school, drawing out key debates and questions from both schools of thought. I suggest that although these two areas have previously been treated as separate, there is much potential for synthesizing this literature that opens up new spaces for inquiry. It was published in International Politics in 2023. 

Image by Christian Lue

The Arctic Potential: Cutting the Gordian Knot of EU-Russia Relations (With Iren Marinova)​

The relationship between the European Union (EU) and Russia in the past 30 years has been complex, encompassing periods of hope but also elements of competition amidst complicated geopolitical tensions. There is an omnipresent pattern of intertwined conflict and cooperation that has run through the core of the relationship, until reaching a stalemate following the 2022 Russian aggression in Ukraine. We identify the current state of EU–Russia relations to resemble a Gordian knot. We examine whether the EU–Russia relations have been qualitatively different there, and whether it might hold lessons for cutting the identified Gordian knot. We employ discourse analysis to the official EU documents on the Arctic from the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council of the European Union, and examine how Russia has been presented in these documents – as a competitor or a cooperation partner. We discover more cooperation rather than conflict language, indicating the Arctic might hold some lessons about the future EU–Russia relations after a Russian withdrawal from Ukraine. It was published in European Security in 2024. 

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