Arctic Politics

Overview

Long recognized by naturalists and adventurers as a dramatically unique region, the Arctic has recently emerged as an area of increasing political, strategic, and economic importance. The Arctic is both one of the world’s largest and smallest regions, encompassing 15% of the earth’s land mass, yet inhabited by fewer than 1% of the world’s population. Its physical vastness is coupled with a wealth of natural resources; in oil alone, the Far North contributes that majority of Russia’s production and 25% of US ...

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Overview

Long recognized by naturalists and adventurers as a dramatically unique region, the Arctic has recently emerged as an area of increasing political, strategic, and economic importance. The Arctic is both one of the world’s largest and smallest regions, encompassing 15% of the earth’s land mass, yet inhabited by fewer than 1% of the world’s population. Its physical vastness is coupled with a wealth of natural resources; in oil alone, the Far North contributes that majority of Russia’s production and 25% of US output. At the same time, the Circumpolar North is home to diverse indigenous peoples and cultures, thus setting the stage for conflicts of international scope.

In this collection of essays, Oran Young provides a foundation for studying the politics of the Arctic as a distinctive international region. Expanding the traditional approach to area studies, he examines the Far North not only for its unique features, but also as an arena within which to develop new approaches to various issues of worldwide interest. Young challenges persistent stereotypes that marginalize the region, moving beyond the romanticism of many observers to arrive at an understanding of the complex social and ecological systems of the Far North. In doing so, Young thoughtfully establishes the Arctic as an area of international importance both in its own right and in relation to other geopolitical regions.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In this new entry in the University Press of New England's ``Arctic Visions'' series, Young, co-editor of the series and director of the Institute of Arctic Studies at Dartmouth College, discusses the international political, economic, and environmental issues affecting the Arctic, or Circumpolar North. While his research has focused on Alaska, he does well in including the Arctic Eight (the United States, Canada, Denmark/Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia). His section on Community Studies covers native interests and interactions and is important for understanding the Regional Studies section, which focuses on national concerns with chapters on animal rights, oil, and shipping. In the International Studies section, Young covers broad interests in the military, the environment, development, and effects on the Arctic from outside. Young argues well for considering the Far North to be of world interest. Important for area studies in research and academic libraries.-- Jean E. Crampon, Hancock Biology & Oceanography Lib., Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780874516067
  • Publisher: University Press of New England
  • Publication date: 4/1/1999
  • Series: Arctic Visions Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 308
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

ORAN R. YOUNG is Director of the Institute of Arctic Studies at Dartmouth College and a member of the Polar Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences. His most recent books are International Cooperation: Building Regimes for Natural Resources and the Environment (1989) and The Age of the Arctic: Hot Conflicts and Cold Realities (1987), coauthored with Gail Osherenko.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction: Arctic Politics: Setting the Stage 1
Pt. 1 Community Studies
Prologue 33
Ch. 1 Internal Colonialism or Self-Sufficiency? Problems and Prospects in the Circumpolar North 36
Ch. 2 The Mixed Economies of Village Alaska: Crisis and Response 56
Ch. 3 The Politics of Pathology: The Problem of Health in Village Alaska 73
Ch. 4 Hunter/Gatherers in Advanced Industrial Societies: Determinants of Cultural Survival 85
Pt. 2 Regional Studies
Prologue 101
Ch. 5 Arctic Resource Conflicts: Sources and Solutions 104
Ch. 6 The Politics of Animal Rights: Preservationists versus Consumptive Users in the Circumpolar North 126
Ch. 7 The Petrodollar Trap: Oil Revenues and the Political Economy of Alaska 142
Ch. 8 Arctic Shipping: A Tale of Two Passages 159
Pt. 3 International Studies
Prologue 175
Ch. 9 The Arctic in World Affairs 179
Ch. 10 The Militarization of the Arctic: Political Consequences and Prospects for Arms Control 190
Ch. 11 Sustainable Development in the Arctic: The International Dimensions 214
Ch. 12 The Arctic: Distinctive Region or Policy Periphery? 229
Notes 249
Index 277
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