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Asian Arctic expansion? Non-Arctic states and the Arctic Council
19.02.2013 14.30 h - 16.30 h
Royal Institute of Technology / KTH, Stockholm



Heightened geopolitical interest in the Arctic has prompted an array of non-Arctic states to assert themselves as stakeholders in Arctic affairs. Despite their lack of geographic proximity, China, India, Italy, Japan Singapore, South Korea as well as the European Union have in recent years  applied to become Permanent Observers to the Arctic Council, the region’s foremost governing body. The decision on whether to admit these recent applicants will be announced at the ministerial meeting in Kiruna in May, bringing a dose of political drama to the conclusion of Sweden’s Arctic Council chairmanship.

The first Stockholm Arctic Seminar for 2013 takes up this politically sensitive issue of Asian observer states. The cases for their inclusion, their interests in the Arctic, and the future role of observer states within the Arctic Council will be discussed with four experts on the Arctic Council and several of the countries in question:

- Dr. Aki Tonami, researcher at the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, University of Copenhagen. Her main research areas include Japan's international relations and environmental governance.

- Karl Hallding, head of the China Cluster at the Stockholm Environment Institute with extensive experience from international co-operation with China on environment and sustainable development since the mid 1980s.

- Piotr Graczyk, researcher and PhD. candidate at the Univeristy of Tromsø, and expert on Arctic politics and the history and internal dynamics of the Arctic Council.

- Mia Bennett, a Gates Scholar researching polar issues at the University of Cambridge. She is an expert on Korea’s interests and ambitions in the Arctic.

Stockholm Arctic Seminars is a seminar series arranged by the research project Assessing Arctic Futures: Voices, Resources and Governance, funded by MISTRA (The Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research) as part of the Foundation's programme Arctic Futures (2011-2013). The project is based in the Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, and is conducted in collaboration with Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), the European University, St Petersburg, and researchers in Europe.

Questions: Lize-Marié van der Watt (e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ,  tel: 0709785319).
Location: Lecture hall E3, Osquars backe 14, Royal Institute of Technology / KTH

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