Triumphant geopolitics? Making space of and for Arctic geopolitics in the Arctic Ocean

Klaus-John Dodds, Chih Yuan Woon

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This chapter contends that the 2007 Russian flag-planting incident in the North Pole has ushered in a form of triumphant geopolitics insofar as it enabled the renewing of the imaginative and material grip of the five Arctic coastal states (Russia, United States, Canada, Denmark and Norway, A5) on maritime Arctic. Triumphant geopolitics, in our conceptualization, is anchored on two separate but inter-related registers. On the one hand, it involves the process of reconciliation and reclamation whereby reactions to the 2007 event provoked the A5 to first reconcile their differences over the legal status of the central Arctic Ocean via the 2008 Ilulissat Declaration before reclaiming the inter-governmental forum of the Arctic Council as a space to regulate and manage other players including permanent participants and state observers. On the other hand, it is simultaneously underpinned by expressions of alter-geopolitics, with indigenous peoples and extra-territorial parties challenging the Arctic states’ framings of the region in order to posit alternative geopolitical imaginaries and relationships. Explicating these dimensions thus foreground triumphant geopolitics as a useful optic to pursue the contested imaginaries, materialities and practices at play in the (re)making of Arctic geopolitics at different geographical scales.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArctic Triumph
Subtitle of host publicationNorthern Innovation and Persistence
EditorsNikolas Sellheim, Yuliya Zaika, Ilan Kelman
Place of PublicationBerlin
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-05522-6
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2019

Publication series

NameSpringer Polar Series
ISSN (Print)2510-0475


  • Triumphant Geopolitics
  • Arctic Council
  • Arctic states
  • Reconcilation
  • Reclamation
  • Alter-geopolitics
  • Arctic

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