Chapter 29: Evolution of Poland’s approach towards the Arctic: from international scientific cooperation to science diplomacy
The Arctic, even in our times of rapid and multi-dimensional transformation, still remains a geographical, geophysical and natural unity. Its circumpolar environment cannot be effectively and comprehensively monitored, examined, protected or managed by any single nation. This applies to the socio-political sphere as well: responsibility for the future of the Arctic and its inhabitants must be shared by many stakeholders, both Arctic and non-Arctic, in accordance with the existing legal framework and institutional arrangements (Megatrends 2011). As Young (2011, p. xxii) argues, ‘the essential feature of the transformation now occurring in the Arctic is a tightening of the links between global forces and regional processes’. International cooperation is required and already quite effectively developed in many dimensions of Arctic affairs (Honneland and Stokke 2007). Scientific collaboration occupies a special place here, often serving as an icebreaker that can clear the way for advances in other fields of regional relations. Many of the political developments in the Arctic region in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have been closely linked with the sphere of science, international scientific cooperation and ‘science diplomacy’ (Royal Society 2010; Berkman et al. 2011; Turekian 2012).
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