Alan D. Hemmings
Klaus Dodds and Alan D. Hemmings
The Arctic and Antarctic have attracted their own distinct regional projects and expressions of regionalism. At a conceptual level, our discussion is informed by a desire to better understand how ‘territory’ and ‘region’ are put to work discursively and acted out and upon geopolitically. In the Polar Regions, in particular, the intersection of ice, rock and water is particularly distinct in terms of how territorial and regional management is expressed. Working off a volumetric, rather than areal, focus, recent work alerts us to how region-making projects have worked through height, depth and subterranean domains none more so than in the Arctic and Antarctic. It is also axiomatic that the regional boundaries of the Arctic and Antarctic are fluid so that it is imperative that we appreciate that regional and international actors such as the European Union (EU) and UN agencies such as the International Maritime Organization (IMO) play a part in shaping polar regionalism in the water, air, and on the land.
Donald R Rothwell and Alan D Hemmings
There exists a Polar Law that sits within the framework of international law, and is to be distinguished from the national laws of states with Polar territorial claims. Polar Law first began to emerge in the early 1900s when legal scholars initially grappled with the complexities of applying general international law to the Polar regions. The Permanent Court of International Justice in Eastern Greenland acknowledged that Polar lands were distinctive and that the international law rules that applied elsewhere needed to be modified in a Polar context. The 1959 Antarctic Treaty further developed the distinctiveness of Polar Law and that has been continued with the Arctic Council System spawned by the Arctic Council. Polar Law has evolved to be framed around distinctive responses to territoriality, governance, environment and resources in the Polar regions. In sum, Polar Law reflects a form of international stewardship over the Antarctic and Arctic.