Contemporary Geopolitics of the Polar
Klaus Dodds
‘Core’ Course
Frozen Planet
• Why do the Polar Regions matter?
• Environmental – links to ‘planet earth’
• Resource potential – oil, gas, timber, minerals, fish
• Inhabited (human and non-human populations)
• Strategic/military – access, shipping lanes, air space
• Sovereignty and sovereign rights
Who owns the Arctic?
Cold War and Polar Regions
• Strategic spaces and geopolitics of proximity
• Arctic and Antarctic as ‘testing grounds’
• Military, polar science and grand strategy
• Populating the Arctic – human security?
Submarines, surveying and spying
Frontier Nationalism
• Frontier discourses/practices
• Russia and the Arctic – Conquering Nature
• Australia and the Australian polar frontier
• Everyday geopolitics and polar
nationalism/national security
An independent Greenland?
Polar Regions and Global Commons
• How does the international community address areas of the
earth such as Antarctica and potentially the central Arctic
• What role do property rights, international regimes, national
security, technology and regional co-operation play in
regulating the Antarctic and oceans?
• Can securitization help avoid the ‘tragedy of the commons’?
Some Key Readings
K Dodds (2012) The Antarctic: A Very Short Introduction (OUP)
K Dodds (2012) ‘Introduction – The governance of the global commons’
Global Policy 3: 58-60
J McCannon (2012) A History of the Arctic (University of Chicago Press)
A Hemmings, D Rothwell and K Scott editors (2012) Antarctic Security in the
21st Century (Routledge)
C Emmerson (2010) The Future History of the Arctic (Bodley Head)
F Griffiths, R Heubert and W Lackenbauer (2011) Canada and the Changing
Arctic (Wilfred Laurier University Press)

Contemporary Geopolitics of the Polar Regions