In steadily proliferating popular, academic and official narratives of anthropogenic global warming, the Arctic – significantly marked by the imagery of ‘diminishing ice’, ‘opening sea routes’ and ‘scramble over resources’ - has come to geopolitically embody climate change. As power-political tectonic plates continue to shift in the post-cold war international system and new alliances/alignments come to the fore, Asia’s rise (especially with regard to China and India) is likely to impact the theory and practices of Arctic governance in ways hitherto unanticipated and question increasingly untenable inside/outside geographies of cooperation centered on the circumpolar north. This presentation will map out the major climate induced geopolitical transformations (especially with regard to routes and resources) and address the following questions: What is the nature and scope of India’s nascent engagement with the rhetoric and reality of ‘changing Arctic’? How significant is the ‘China factor’ as one of the key drivers behind India’s growing interest in the question of Arctic governance? What are the problems and prospects of India becoming a permanent observer in the Arctic Council? What role can (and should) India play in ensuring that the Arctic remains a ‘circumpolar zone of peace’ in the era of climate change and scarcities and governed by the principles of ‘global knowledge commons’, ‘stewardship’ and ‘ecologically sustainable, socially just and culturally appropriate development’, in the best interests of both Arctic communities and humanity at large?
About the Lecturer:
Dr. Sanjay Chaturvedi is Professor of Political Science at the Centre for the Study of Geopolitics, Panjab University, Chandigarh. His area of specialisation is the theory and practice of Geopolitics; with special reference to Polar Regions and the Indian Ocean Region. Author of Polar Regions: A Political Geography (John Wiley & Sons) Chaturvedi is the co-author of Partitions: Reshaping Minds and States (Routledge, 2005); and co-editor of Euro-Asia at the Crossroads: Geopolitics, Identities and Discourse (New Delhi: Shipra Publications, 2011); Fisheries Exploitation in the Indian Ocean Region: Threats and Opportunities (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2009).