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Theorising the Thaw: Geopolitics in a Changing Arctic

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Ingrid A. MedbyORCiD


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© 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. As the effects of climate change are becoming more and more pronounced, the Arctic region is attracting renewed attention from politicians, transnational corporations, and environmentalists alike, many of whom are based geographically far from the region itself. Interests span from the prospects of vast oil and mineral riches and shorter international shipping routes, to preserving what is often framed as a fragile, pristine environment. As a resource frontier and a wilderness, but also a homeland and a space of culture to its inhabitants, the Arctic is characterised by potentially conflicting geographical imaginaries and visions of both the present as well as the future of the region. Hence, the political geographies of the Arctic are both messy and complex. This paper examines some of the principal themes and issues of Arctic geopolitics and offers a discussion of how scholars of Political Geography have engaged the topic at a time when an increasing number of academics are directing their analytical gaze towards the North. Focusing on publications from the past decade, it aims to contextualise scholarly debates on Arctic geopolitics and illustrate the complexity and richness of the topic.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bruun JM, Medby IA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Geography Compass

Year: 2014

Volume: 8

Issue: 12

Pages: 915-929

Online publication date: 16/12/2014

Acceptance date: 15/11/2014

ISSN (electronic): 1749-8198

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd


DOI: 10.1111/gec3.12189


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