Challenges to Substantive Demilitarisation in the Antarctic Treaty Area

Alan D. Hemmings

From inception, there has been a gap between the rhetoric around Antarctic ‘demilitarisation’ and its contingent and spatially limited expression in the 1959 Antarctic Treaty. Subsequent development of the Antarctic Treaty System has not changed this. Indeed, the gap broadened with the arrival of new military doctrines and technologies; erosion of separation between civilian and military personnel, equipment and functions in ‘defence’ operations; and emergence of dual-purpose technologies. The gap is again broadening given ‘Western’ and Chinese competition over Antarctica. This paper explores the contemporary state of demilitarisation and poses the question whether further development is now necessary, and if so whether it is geopolitically possible.

Key Issues in Arctic Security

Maj Gen Randy ‘Church’ Kee

This paper explores the increased demands of urgent and emergency responses on US Coast Guard and other maritime operator missions including search and rescue, humanitarian assistance, and disaster response in the context of significant environmental changes and increased human activity in the Arctic region. Throughout this paper, Kee approaches security from a safety, law enforcement and defence perspective in order to characterise the major factors affecting the Arctic security landscape. Beginning with an overview of the issues facing the region, Kee lays out the complex array of features and factors that are greatly contributing to safety and security challenges in the Arctic. Kee contends that Arctic states are constrained by less than ideal security capabilities, and thus Arctic national borders and economic boundaries are being readily exploited and violated. Within this context, and with an increasingly dynamic physical environment, a desire to preserve the cultural heritage of the region, and a demand to understand economic pressures kept front of mind, Kee provides an extensive discussion on potential mechanisms for securing, protecting and defending the region to reduce the chance of conflict. Throughout this comprehensive chapter, Kee delivers a detailed analysis of the many relevant security issues, possible concerns for the future, and offers measured approaches for dealing with them that are both immediate and anticipatory in nature. As Kee maintains, ‘increasing the capabilities of cooperation and collaboration mechanisms, and creating new mechanisms to address current gaps and seams, could prove pivotal to fostering improved outcomes for the Arctic in the coming years’.


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Regional Border Security Management in the Territorial North

Professor Heather Nicol

This paper explores the layered relationship between security practice in the Canada-US Arctic borderlands and Northern communities’ well-being. Evolving management practices that stem from southern border policy have defined a security relationship between Alaska, Yukon and the regions’ pan-Arctic indigenous peoples that present unique challenges. For example, what is the relationship between security and mobility and indigenous rights broadly defined under this policy regime? What does this this security relationship offer ongoing non-conventional security challenges in the region? This paper considers the larger implications and potential for better regional border management policies.


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The case for an alternative border management paradigm in the North American Arctic

Professor Christian Leuprecht

The literature, policy, and practice in managing borders and their integrity in North America is dominated by paradigms from the continent’s more southern borders – since that is where most people live and most good cross the border. Yet, these paradigms are either not applicable or ill-suited to managing land borders in North America’s Arctic: the type and amount of traffic in people and goods differs in both proportion and absolute numbers, the nature of security threats is quite different, and the way security and threats are conceptualized by local communities is quite different. In sum, assets in Northern North America are scarce and exponentially more expensive to deploy. Instead of the indiscriminate transfer and application of border management norms and practices from elsewhere to the North, this paper works towards developing a border management paradigm that is sensitive to the endogenous and exogenous constraints of managing borders in the North American Arctic.


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