Real and Imaginary Issues: Governance of the Arctic and the Antarctic   [open pdf - 3MB]

From the Document: "The Arctic might be the one place in the world where the real and imaginary boundaries of the West and its challengers meet. Unlike at the southern pole, the Arctic is a region that has been inhabited for thousands of years and one in which the West and its challengers border each other. The countries that lay claim to the Arctic face each other in a contentious situation that creates challenges to broad multilateral governance. By contrast, in the Antarctic, a region that has no permanent population, multilateralism has flourished as a way of governance. This lack of a permanent Antarctic identity coupled with expansive multilateralism has enabled challengers to the West with no direct connection to the region - China in particular - to gain a foothold there despite geographical distance and lack of historical ties. This paper first focuses on the development of the Arctic Council, the region's most important multilateral forum and covers how claimant states in the High North - despite successes in some areas - struggled to address the questions of regional identity and more substantive issues such as security cooperation."

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William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies: https://www.williamjperrycenter.org/
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