IA Events

Canadian Seminar: Out in the Cold? Canada's Arctic Policy in the 21st Century

Publication date: May 19, 2014 10:57:00 AM

Start: Jun 9, 2014 6:00:00 PM
End: Jun 9, 2014 7:30:00 PM

Location: UCL-Institute of the Americas, 51 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PN


Dr Petra Dolata (King's College London) - Arctic policy has emerged as an important issue area in Canadian politics. While it has evolved since the early 2000s to include many aspects and refers to various levels of governance – local, regional, national, circumpolar and international – the narrative of sovereignty seems to override all these. This presentation will suggest that the best way to understand Canadian Arctic policy is by focusing on historical narratives and identity constructions.

The presentation juxtaposes Canada’s role in the mid-1990s with that in the 21st century and argues that Canada’s Arctic policy has changed from championing multilateralism and non-state actors to resorting to a more unilateral position including a greater emphasis on security. The analysis focuses on differing conceptions of Canada’s national interest arguing that the historical and geopolitical construction of Canada’s North as a truly Canadian cultural and political space is translated into a foreign policy posture that stresses sovereignty and places a priority on security as the driver of Arctic policy. This not only affects Canada’s relations with neighboring littoral states as well as with Europe and Asia but it also affects the Northern dimension of Canada’s Arctic policy and makes for an interesting multilevel policy area.

Dr Petra Dolata is a Lecturer in International Politics at King’s College London, UK. She is a specialist in North America with a background in both International History and International Relations holding a Masters degree in American Studies and a PhD in International Relations from Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany. Before joining King’s in 2007 she was Assistant Professor of North American History at the Freie Universität Berlin. As of July 2014 she will be Associate Professor, History of Energy, at the University of Calgary, Canada. Until recently she was a council member of both the British and the German Association of Canadian Studies. Her current research interests include Canadian foreign and Arctic policies as well as energy and geopolitics, specifically energy security in a North American and transatlantic context.

Refreshments available from 17:30. Attendance is free of charge but registration is required.