Polar

About the Polar Institute

The Arctic is a region of international dialogue and potential competition, of varied challenges and diverse opportunities. It is also a region that is rapidly gaining in geopolitical significance as it undergoes profound environmental, economic, and social change.

The Wilson Center’s Polar Initiative is the comprehensive, non-partisan Arctic and Antarctic policy forum in the United States, tracking, analyzing, and making sense of these complex and interconnected dynamics.

National Security and Climate Change: What Do We Need to Know?

The effects of climate change “are here now” and pose a “serious challenge” for the United States, said Alice Hill, White House senior advisor for preparedness and resilience, at the Wilson Center on July 29.

Video Series: Who Owns the Arctic?

Tensions over security, access, and environmental impacts in the Arctic are rising. While members of the Arctic Council (Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, the United States) assert their established rights under new circumstances, an increasing number of non-Arctic states (including China, Korea, Japan, and Singapore) seek an active role in the region.

In this video series, "Who Owns the Arctic?" an international panel of experts describes why one of the world’s coldest environments is becoming a hot topic.

 

Arctic 2014: Who Gets a Voice and Why It Matters

Tensions over security, access, and environmental impacts in the Arctic are rising. While members of the Arctic Council (Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, the United States) assert their established rights under new circumstances, an increasing number of non-Arctic states (including China, Korea, Japan, and Singapore) seek an active role in the region. Who are the key players and what are their primary objectives? What institutional framework will guarantee fair use and security in the Arctic?

National Security and the Accelerating Risks of Climate Change

Climate change poses a serious threat to U.S. national security and is becoming a “catalyst for conflict” in vulnerable countries, according to a panel of retired military leaders speaking at the Wilson Center on May 15.

China and Antarctica

Evaluating China as an Antarctic State

Professor Anne-Marie Brady

Editor-in-chief The Polar Journal

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars/

Department of Political Science/Gateway Antarctica,

University of Canterbury, New Zealand

Summary:

Managing Our Planet: The State and Fate of the Arctic

The Arctic is a sentinel of global warming where scientists predict and have observed the largest warming, melting and change, yet a region with planetary impact.

China Playing a Long Game in Polar Governance

China’s Antarctic program has captured international attention in recent weeks amid the dramatic rescue of the trapped Russian research vessel Akademik Shokalskiy. China's successful participation in the rescue, in which a Chinese icebreaker played a key role before itself getting trapped in Antarctic ice, made global headlines and brought a windfall of positive public relations for a country whose growing polar interests tend to arouse anxiety among traditional players in the Arctic and Antarctic.

"In Search of Arctic Energy" Publication Launch

Please join the Canada Institute, the Kennan Institute, and the European Studies Program for the publication launch of "In Search of Arctic Energy." This event will discuss the findings of the new paper and delve into the implications that Arctic energy exploration will have for the region and the globe's energy economy.

Alternative North Americas: What Canada and the United States Can Learn from Each Other

Since 9/11 and the Iraq war, relations between Canada and the United States have slowly deteriorated, forcing some to question the future of the world's largest bilateral trading relationship. David Jones, former U.S. foreign service officer, pulls no punches as he explores the growing differences between Canada and the United States and looks for learning opportunities for the two nations.

Full text and chapter summaries below.

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