Imagining the Arctic: International Law, Governance, and Relations in the High North

26 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2016

See all articles by Andreas Kuersten

Andreas Kuersten

Georgetown University - Center for Clinical Bioethics

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Date Written: 2015

Abstract

The Arctic is defined by change. Many understand this through the region’s biannual shift between a frozen desert of snow and ice, and a warmer and highly productive environment. Others know this through the great effect that climate change is having on the circumpolar north. Nonetheless, beyond physical transitions, dynamism is also the name of the game when it comes to how we conceive of and approach the Arctic through international law, politics, and policy. The “melting Arctic ice transforms the region from one of primarily scientific interest into a maelstrom of competing commercial, national security and environmental concerns,” not to mention those of governance and development. Is the Arctic an expanse of unclaimed territory and resources to be scrambled for; a chance at indigenous self-determination; a rare enclave of untouched nature needing protection; or another contentious arena along the deepening rift between Russia and the West?

Keywords: International Law, Arctic, Polar Caps, Governance, Development

JEL Classification: k40

Suggested Citation

Kuersten, Andreas, Imagining the Arctic: International Law, Governance, and Relations in the High North (2015). Michigan State International Law Review, Vol. 24, No. 3, 2015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2830044

Andreas Kuersten (Contact Author)

Georgetown University - Center for Clinical Bioethics ( email )

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