Transformative technological, environmental, and political events in recent years have converged to emphasize a turn to spatialization within the study of media and communication, in particular within studies of the political economy of media. The Arctic, as a global region denoted by economic growth, ecological transformation, and increasingly dynamic international politics, presents a natural focal point for the impact of spatial media. This study examines both History Channel’s reality television program Ice Road Truckers and its Discovery Channel counterpart Deadliest Catch, including the programs’ histories and their implicit or direct roles in influencing discourse about the Arctic and sub-Arctic’s economy and ecology. How do these programs articulate a discourse about the North American Arctic for a mass audience, and how does this discourse relate to real-world ecological and economic conditions of the region?
The Arctic has recently become one of the most intriguing regions of the globe. The USGS report of 2008 put an emphasis on the enormous potential energy reserves in the region. The Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment (AMSA) of 2009 gave hope of an ice-free Arctic far sooner than expected. This resulted in an ever-increasing focus on the Arctic’s economic potential. (Howard, 2009) Traditional Arctic players were thus not alone anymore. Many countries (e.g. China) and enterprises increased their activities in the region. Navigation is one of the two main economic sectors with incredible potential for decades to come. The other one is obviously the energy sector. Numerous authors have discussed Arctic economic development during the last decade. So how has it evolved since 2007? And what is the state of knowledge today? To answer these questions, this review focuses on the literature of Arctic navigation in order to find gaps. As research is rapidly growing and evolving, the purpose of this literature review is to assess the state of the literature and its current gaps.
The Oslo Declaration on High Seas Fishing in the Central Arctic Ocean (CAO) signed in July 2015 reflects the common interests of the Arctic coastal states (namely, the A5) to manage fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean beyond national jurisdictions. As a multilateral document with a soft-law nature, the Oslo Declaration was followed by the ‘A5 plus 5 (the EU, Iceland, China, Japan, and South Korea)’ negotiations towards a legally binding agreement. However, questions remain unsolved. For example, to what extent can the Oslo Declaration or other following-up instruments be used for the CAO high seas fishery management? Moreover, under international fisheries law, are there any loopholes of the current fishery management under the ‘A5 plus 5’ negotiation framework? This paper provides an overall examination on the legal aspects of the Oslo Declaration, especially the arguments regarding the future of fisheries management in the High Seas portion of the Central Arctic Ocean, such as a Regional Fisheries Management Organization (RFMO) or Agreement (RFMA) as the interim measure, and the differences between the Declaration and international fisheries law.
Nikolas Sellheim, Leilei Zou & Osamu Inagaki
Over the last 20+ years the Arctic has seen a significant increase in legal regimes that directly or indirectly affect its peoples, livelihoods, environment(s) and resources. Especially under the auspices of the soft-law Arctic Council, non-binding agreements reflect a trend which point towards the creation of a ‘legal Arctic’ that encompasses understandings of a world rooted in environmental awareness, cultural respect, collaboration and cooperation. At the same time, non-Arctic players have generated their own understanding of the Arctic in either their national Arctic strategies or policies or legal regimes that reflect onto the Arctic in which their own views on the Arctic are politically or legally embedded. Two of these, Japan and China, are presented in this paper. In literary studies, the somewhat utopian creation of the Arctic has been labelled ‘Arctopia’, which explores a fictitious vision of global societies that often holds an environmental message. The ‘Arctopian’ literature therefore makes use of characteristics of the innovated Arctic that is rooted in a diagnosis of the ills of the present with potential pathways for its positive transformation. This paper argues that also in binding and non-binding legal regimes dealing with or relevant for the Arctic a vision of a ‘better world’ is embedded — leading away from a utopia towards real-world policy-implications, going beyond problem-solving, but holding also an exclusively expressive function which narrates and shapes the Arctic as a region where the ills of the present are eradicated through long-term cooperation.