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Arctic

Explaining Non-Arctic States in the Arctic Council

May 2016

How has the role of observers in the Arctic Council evolved and why is there increased interest in participation by states and international institutions? This article examines the influence and interest of observers in international institutions. The Arctic Council is an international institution founded in 1996 to promote Arctic environmental protection and sustainable development. Ultimately, observers are weak actors in the Council. Despite this weakness, actors seek to become observers for two reasons.

Arctic: Commerce, Governance and Policy

2015
Arctic: Commerce, Governance and Policy

Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 978-1-13-885599-1
Price: $145.00
In May 2013, China, India, Japan, Singapore and South Korea (Asia 5) were given status as permanent observers in the Arctic Council. It was a symbolic and significant moment in the history of Arctic affairs. The list of stakeholders in the Arctic has now expanded to include both the Arctic littoral states and the five Asian states. The drivers and policies of these stakeholders on the Arctic vary, but research on climate change, possible changes to the global energy and minerals markets, adherence to international norms like the UNCLOS, and geopolitical considerations are issues of concern.

Overview of Korea’s Arctic Policy Development

November 2014

In his Murmansk speech in 1987, Gorbachev proposed the Arctic as the shortest sea route linking Europe to the Far East and the Pacific Ocean, triggering a new perspective on the region.1 Since then, the 1991 Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy (AEPS), referred to as the Finnish Initiative, has been created as a multilateral, non-binding agreement among Arctic states to protect the environment by monitoring, assessment, emergency preparedness/response, and conservation of the Arctic zone.

China’s Role in Arctic Affairs in the Context of Global Governance

November 2014

For nearly a quarter of the past century a series of notable changes have taken place in the Arctic. All of them, whether political, economical, environmental or climate-related, inevitably had an impact on regional and global governance. This commentary mainly focuses on the role of China in Arctic affairs in the context of global change and global governance.

The Legal Regime of the Arctic and India’s Role and Options

November 2014

The Arctic Ocean is melting. Essentially, this means that new sea routes will open up for international navigation, and large resources, especially oil and gas, lying underneath the frozen ice will become more accessible and exploitable. Therefore, in the emerging contemporary debates concerning the Arctic, two important questions are raised: what is the legal regime that applies to navigation in new shipping routes that will open up with the melting of Arctic ice and what is the legal regime that governs the exploitation of the vast oil and gas resources?

The Maritime Tiger: Exploring South Korea’s Interests and Role in the Arctic

November 2014

South Korea is not a traditional Arctic state, but it has several key interests in the region. This article explores the sources of those interests and the country’s commercial activities in the Arctic in the areas of shipping, shipbuilding and hydrocarbons. Since the country’s polar interests transcend commerce, however, attention is also paid to the importance of science and research and development in Korean culture.

The Arctic and India: Strategic Awareness and Scientific Engagement

November 2014

A global temperature rise is being experienced earliest and most intensely in the Arctic region. The changes are worrying but the commercial interests are equally enticing. The Arctic is witnessing the convergence of the geophysical, the geo-economic and the geostrategic in strange and dramatic ways, making it a paradox and an antithesis. For India, the Arctic is distant when it comes to economic interests and near when it comes to climate change.

Russia’s Strategic Concerns in the Arctic and Its Impact on Japan–Russia Relations

November 2014

Russia places a high strategic priority on the Arctic from a security perspective, in view of the need to secure the Northern Sea Route as well as develop natural resources in the region. While large-scale snap military inspections were taking place in Russia’s Far East in July 2013, five Chinese navy vessels passed into the Sea of Okhotsk—the first such instance in history.

Russia’s China Policy in the Arctic

November 2014

This article discusses the type of partnership Russia pursues towards China in the Arctic. Through evidence, the author finds that while Russia may be aiming for an overall strategic partnership, Arctic developments on the whole conclude on a pragmatic approach. Russia needs assistance to develop the Arctic and an eastward diversification is opportune. Russia’s energy development in the Arctic indicates an emerging strategic co-operation with China, but policies towards Beijing concerning the Arctic Council and the Northern Sea Route prove to be more pragmatic.

Arctic: The Next Great Game in Energy Geopolitics?

November 2014

As global warming and melting of the ice is making the Arctic increasingly accessible, the region’s hydrocarbon riches are attracting international interest. Thus far, despite the presence of vast untapped energy and mineral resources, the Arctic is not considered a geopolitical hotspot. In fact, many of the Arctic states have dismissed the possibility of conflict over the region’s spoils due to the collaborative governance model that has been established.

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