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This dissertation examines the development of modern Arctic security policy. It is a longitudinal investigation that begins in 1985 when Canada had an Arctic policy of “ad hocery” and ends in 2010 with the completion of an integrated policy. It investigates how the threat perceptions and policy prescriptions of various domestic actors were transmitted into government policy, moving some conceptualizations of security up or to the top of the agenda whilst moving others down or off of it. Second generation securitization theory is systematically applied to a series of exceptional case studies that best track the change over time in Arctic security policy. A mixed methodology of process tracing and discourse analysis interrogate the creation and changing of context, and how context was critical in setting the conditions for shaping policy. The dissertation finds that context matters in the securitization process, largely being created by securitization theory’s undertheorized functional actor. These actors provide policy options for those with political power to securitize into government policy. The prescriptions these actors offered were increasingly complex, stretching across the breadth and depth of security over time. This dissertation tells a story that comes full circle, beginning and ending with Canada’s effort to fold the military into its developing Arctic security policy.