Assembling a (British) Arctic

Duncan Depledge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper considers the UK’s entanglement with the Arctic and is grounded in recent thinking on assemblages. The focus is on how an assemblage of the UK and the Arctic (referred to in this paper as Britain’s Arctic) has been, and continues to be, shaped and contested by an ever-changing cast of heterogeneous actors (including non-humans) from both inside and outside the UK. Particular consideration is given to how hopes and anxieties (of politicians, civil servants, the military, scientists and environmentalists) shape the topology of UK–Arctic relations, stretching Britain’s Arctic to encompass all manner of things, which in turn facilitate and frustrate the (de)territorialising processes at the heart of assemblage. This has consequences for the Government as despite their relatedness, the diffuse and at times conflicting interests of these actors disrupt attempts to develop and stabilise a coherent policy for engaging with Arctic issues.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Polar Journal
Early online date14 May 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • United Kingdom
  • Arctic
  • assemblage
  • geography
  • deterritorialisation
  • territorialisation
  • topology

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