Emergence of a New Ocean: How to React to the Massive Change?

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The Arctic is undergoing unprecedented and large-scale changes that impact communities as well as the natural environment. Climate change, globalization and a rush for resources provide a unique mix of challenges also from the perspective of governance. This leads to the question how the Arctic states can react to this fundamentally new situation, a question that becomes urgent in light of the reactive nature of international law and the speed and scope of the changes experienced in the North. This issue appears under-researched from a legal perspective, just as there is a relative absence of hard law, in particular relating to the central Arctic ocean, with which this chapter is primarily concerned. The text aims at showing existing reactions to these challenges by expanding the scope of the investigation to soft law and to the role of the Arctic Council, which is not an international organization in the proper sense of the term. It is shown that there are indeed international efforts to govern the central Arctic ocean. While these efforts are currently still fragmented, their existence holds the promise of a reactive capacity of the international Arctic community even in the face of massive changes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Arctic Policy and Politics
EditorsKen S. Coates, Carin Holroyd
Place of PublicationBasingstoke
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-20557-7
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-20556-0
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoEC publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book

Field of science

  • Law


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