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Arctic Ocean State-Changes: Self Interests and Common Interests

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AbstractEnvironmental and geopolitical state-changes are the underlying first principles of the diverse stakeholder positioning in the Arctic Ocean. The Arctic Ocean is changing from an ice-covered region to an ice-free region during the summer, which is an environmental state-change. As provided under the framework of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the central Arctic Ocean currently involves “High-Seas” (beyond the “Exclusive Economic Zones”) and the underlying “Area” of the deep-sea floor (beyond the “Continental Shelves”). Governance applications of this ‘donut’ demography – with international space surrounded by sovereign sectors – would be a geopolitical state-change in the Arctic Ocean. International governance strategies and applications for the central Arctic Ocean have far-reaching implications for the stewardship of other international spaces, which between Antarctica and the ocean beyond national jurisdictions account for nearly 75 percent of the Earth’s surface. In view of planetary-scale strategies for humankind, with frameworks such as climate, the Arctic Ocean underscores the challenges and opportunities to balance the governance of nation states and international spaces centuries into the future.

Affiliations: 1: Scott Polar Research Institute and Judge Business School, University of CambridgeCambridgeUnited KigdomDonald Bren School of Environmental Science & Management University of CaliforniaSanta


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