'We run the ice' : a critical geopolitical gaze on New Zealand's relationship with the Ross Sea region, Antarctica (2003)
From a past supporting British exploration and the eventual annexation of the Ross Dependency in 1923 (with claim issues set aside by the 1959 Antarctic Treaty), New Zealand's governmental interests in the Antarctic are exercised primarily through scientific endeavour. Reflecting growing international concerns, strong domestic legislation ratifying the 1991 Protocol provides environmental protection of New Zealand's activities in the Antarctic. The tensions of territorial interest and responsibility in the Ross Dependency, increased environmental protection, practice of scientific fieldwork, pressures of commercialisation, and the legacies of a colonialist history create an uneasy template on which domestic perceptions of the New Zealand/Antarctic relationship are constructed and government policy is formulated. Critical geopolitics, a postmodern approach addressing spatial and temporal dimensions of the construction and expression of power/knowledge, is used to analyse these complexities. An interpretative examination is made from documentary and interview sources to explore the construction of New Zealand Antarctic geographs and the formulation of these into policy. Feminist and postcolonial perspectives are adopted, exploring the recent challenge posed by these to critical geopolitics. The thesis concludes that the Antarctic remains one of the last vestiges of colonial expression and masculine endeavour retaining notions of territorial sovereignty expressed through commercial, environmental and scientific activities. A feminist and postcolonial 'inspired' geopolitics highlights the ways in which discourses become marginalised and the relationship New Zealand Antarctic policy has to both domestic and global influences. This study has implications for the ongoing development of a 'feminist postcolonial geopolitics', highlighting the ways in which such positioning can add fruitful dimensions to critical geopolitical debates.
KeywordsGeopolitics--Antarctica--Ross Sea Region; Ross Sea Region (Antarctica)--Discovery and exploration--New Zealand; New Zealand--Relations--Antarctica.; Antarctica--Government policy-New Zealand
RightsAll Rights Reserved
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