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Call for Abstract: Intra-Asia connection in a Changing Arctic
October 22, 2014 - 00:00-October 24, 2014 - 00:00
Aki Tonami and Christopher Dent (University of Leeds) will convene a panel “Intra-Asia connection in a Changing Arctic” at the 6th International Conference Intra-Asian Connections: Interactions, flows, landscapes. We invite abstracts with regards to Asia’s relations with the Arctic and intra-Asian relations related to the Arctic.
Abstracts (no more than 250 words), title, name, affiliation and intended panel (if applicable) should be submitted to the organizing committee via Marie Yoshida ([email protected]).
Deadline for submitting abstracts: 20 May 2014
Notification of acceptance: 30 June 2014
As five Asian countries have applied for and been accepted to become Permanent Observers at the Arctic Council, the relationship between Asian countries and the Arctic has gained greater attention than ever. While the Asian countries have been mostly considered as ‘outsiders’ by the traditional Arctic states, the history of their commitment to the Arctic is not a brief one. For instance, Japan is one of the 14 High Contracting Parties to the Spitsbergen Treaty and has been one of only a few non-Western states to conduct polar research, doing so since 1957. China has two icebreakers for polar research and has been active in resource development in the Arctic. South Korea, one of the world’s largest ship building nations, is keen to promote its icebreakers and ice-ready vessels.
These Asian states appear to make individual efforts to strengthen their bilateral relationships with Arctic states, creating what appears to be a competitive atmosphere in which each seeks to outdo the other to get the best ‘deal’ from the Arctic states. That said, there are attempts to enhance intra-Asia cooperation on the Arctic. For example, the Environmental Minister of South Korea suggested that the three East Asian countries should consider a forum on Arctic cooperation at the 8th Northeast Asia Trilateral Forum hosted by the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat. Within the scientific community there is the Asian Forum for Polar Sciences. Formed in 2000, this official forum brings together scientists from Japan, China, South Korea, India and Malaysia.
The Northern Sea Route (NSR) has the potential to profoundly alter relations between Asia, Europe and Russia. How do Asian countries view the NSR? Could its potential as a new primary shipping route enhance not only connections between Asia and Europe but within Asia? Moreover, as no Asian state is Arctic by any scientific definition, how is their interest in the Arctic viewed by the Arctic states?
Against this backdrop, we are primarily interested in questions relating to Asia’s relations with the Arctic and intra-Asian relations related to the Arctic:
- Is there any intra-Asia connection – conflict of interests, cooperation, or exchange of information – on the Arctic? What lies behind this intra-Asia connection on the Arctic?
- What are the potential benefits and limitations of intra-Asia connection on the Arctic as a guideline and constraint for political action in Arctic governance?
- What is the broader significance of non- Arctic actors for Arctic governance and how Asian states’ interests have been or can be met by established Arctic states (and why this reception has varied)?
Please visit the conference website for more information and the full call for abstracts.