Table of Contents

Polar Geopolitics?

Polar Geopolitics?

Knowledges, Resources and Legal Regimes

Edited by Richard C. Powell and Klaus Dodds

The polar regions (the Arctic and Antarctic) have enjoyed widespread public attention in recent years, as issues of conservation, sustainability, resource speculation and geopolitical manoeuvring have all garnered considerable international media interest. This critical collection of new and original papers – the first of its kind – offers a comprehensive exploration of these and other topics, consolidating the emergent field of polar geopolitics.

Chapter 11: (Re)Assembling Britain's 'Arctic'

Duncan Depledge

Subjects: environment, environmental law, law - academic, environmental law, politics and public policy, international politics, international relations

Extract

In the United Kingdom (UK), interest in the northern latitudes is both shaped by and contributing to what Keskitalo (2004) and others (for example, Nilsson 2009; Powell 2011) have described as the recent ëinternationalizingí of the Arctic region; a phenomenon, linked to globalization, which through advances in global communications technology, changing market demands and the emergence of new epistemic communities, has made the Arctic (and its environment, resources and shipping lanes) more relevant to actors around the world (Heininen and Southcott 2010). The presence of the UK, along with these other actors (including the European Union (EU), China, indigenous peoplesí groups and non-governmental organizations) is invited, if not demanded, by the broad consensus that the Arctic is a region ëin changeí and thus no longer regarded as exceptional, remote and disconnected from a portfolio of global interests including climate change, resource security, shipping and environmental protection (Koivurova 2010, p._4). Dittmer et al. (2011, p._212) have suggested that ëwhen we examine the formation of Arctic geopolitics, it is not the working out of timeless geopolitical processes that is intriguing Ö but the ongoing assembly of the geopolitical itself out of multiple elements across a wide variety of sitesí. Merje Kuus (2011a, 2011b) has also called for more attention to be given to attempts by policy elites to assemble geopolitical spaces.

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