Anticipating the Arctic and the Arctic Council: pre-emption, precaution and preparedness

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This paper considers the role of the Arctic Council (AC) and its relationship to the future or even futures. Factors such as sea ice thinning and melting permafrost, alongside globalisation, have been cited as consequential in transforming the Arctic region. While we might be cautious about the novelty of change per se, there is a need for further debate about how the ‘future’ is imagined and put into practice. Exploring different logics, including precaution, pre-emption and preparedness, consideration is offered on how the AC attempts to anticipate the future. The contentious role of observers is investigated by way of an example, and it is concluded that there is more work to be done in terms of how different futures are assembled, mobilised and put into practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages10
JournalPolar Record
Early online date30 Nov 2011
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Nov 2011


  • Arctic Council
  • Anticipation
  • Pre-emption
  • Preparedness
  • precaution

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