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Political Science Globalization

North America's Arctic Borders

A World of Change

edited by Heather Nicol & Andrew Chater

contributions by Karen G. Everett, P. Whitney Lackenbauer & Justin Barnes

University of Ottawa Press
Initial publish date
Oct 2021
Globalization, General
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Although part of a broader circumpolar world, North America’s Arctic and sub-Arctic borders—and the establishment of new boundaries in the wake of significant, and regionally unique, change—are increasingly relevant in the broader, global world.

Indeed, the Arctic reality has been dramatically reshaped by new territorial configurations and comprehensive land claims; increasing flows of international investment and trade focused upon resource industries and hydrocarbon extraction; the growing importance and role of sub-national entities, organizations, and Indigenous governments; shifting geopolitical interests; and existential challenges created by climate change and environmental security.

This book demonstrates how North America’s Arctic borders are being reshaped by globalization even as these borders are adjusting to new internal pressures such as devolution and the rise of sub-national territorial interests.


About the authors

Heather Nicol is Professor of Geography in the School of the Environment and Director of the School for the Study of Canada at Trent University. Nicol was the 2015–2016 Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Arctic Studies at the University of Washington.


Heather Nicol's profile page

Andrew Chater is Professor of Humanities (limited term) at Brescia University. He is a Fellow at Polar Research and Policy Initiative. He was the 2019–2020 North American and Arctic Defense and Security Network (NAADSN) Postdoctoral Fellow, and the 2018–2019 Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Arctic Studies at the University of Washington.


Andrew Chater's profile page

Karen G. Everett's profile page


P. Whitney Lackenbauer is associate professor and chair of the Department of History at St. Jerome's University in the University of Waterloo, and a faculty associate with the LCMSDS.

Peter Kikkert recently completed his M.A. at the University of Waterloo and is a Ph.D. student in history at the University of Western Ontario.


P. Whitney Lackenbauer's profile page

Justin Barnes' profile page

Excerpt: North America's Arctic Borders: A World of Change (edited by Heather Nicol & Andrew Chater; contributions by Karen G. Everett, P. Whitney Lackenbauer & Justin Barnes)

“In some ways it is clear that Northern borders in Canada are exceptional. There are issues of climate change and environmental disruptions, geopolitics, international law, colonial legacies, economic development and governance that are unique. All of these influence the way in which borders are both imagined and managed.”

“Today, the tide has turned in terms of the growing political clout of Indigenous organizations. In the North American North, as elsewhere in the circumpolar region, many Indigenous peoples have become actors on a larger stage, and are being remapped onto larger national and international organizations levels of consultation, discussion and action.”

“Canadian and American security agencies seek greater levels of transnational cooperation in the North, precisely because of the cross-border nature of 21st century security threats triggered by large existential threats such as environmental instability related to climate change (Kee 2019, Kee et al. 2019). Climate change, melting ice, and increased shipping and maritime activities have thus contributed to speculation about future tensions and territorial conflict in the North, as well as highlighted the need for assurances of cooperation.”

Other titles by P. Whitney Lackenbauer

Breaking Through

Understanding Sovereignty and Security in the Circumpolar Arctic

edited by Wilfrid Greaves & P. Whitney Lackenbauer

Reconsidering Confederation

Canada’s Founding Debates, 1864-1999

edited by Daniel Heidt
contributions by J.R. Miller, Marcel Martel, Colin Coates, Martin Pâquet, Maxime Gohier, Phillip Buckner, Robert Wardhaugh, Barry Ferguson, Patricia Roy, P. Whitney Lackenbauer, Ken S. Coates, Bill Waiser, Raymond B. Blake & Andre Legare

Roots of Entanglement

Essays in the History of Native-Newcomer Relations

by (author) Myra Rutherdale, Kerry Abel & P. Whitney Lackenbauer

China's Arctic Ambitions and What They Mean for Canada

by (author) P. Whitney Lackenbauer, Adam Lajeunesse, Frederic Lasserre & James Manicom

Ice Blink

Navigating Northern Environmental History

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A Historical and Legal Study of Sovereignty in the Canadian North

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by (author) Gordon W. Smith
edited by P. Whitney Lackenbauer
foreword by Tom and Nell Smith

Blockades or Breakthroughs?

Aboriginal Peoples Confront the Canadian State

edited by Yale D. Belanger & P. Whitney Lackenbauer

The Dundurn Arctic Culture and Sovereignty Library

Pike's Portage/Death Wins in the Arctic/Arctic Naturalist/Arctic Obsession/Arctic Twilight/Arctic Front/Canoeing North Into the Unknown/Arctic Revolution/In the Shadow of the Pole/Voices From the Odeyak

by (author) Michael Posluns, Bruce W. Hodgins, S.L. Osborne, Kerry Karram, Ken S. Coates, P. Whitney Lackenbauer, William R. Morrion, Greg Poelzer, Anthony Dalton, Alexis S. Troubetzkoy, John David Hamilton & Claudia Coutu Radmore
edited by Morten Asfeldt & Bob Henderson
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The Canadian Rangers

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by (author) P. Whitney Lackenbauer

In the National Interest

Canadian Foreign Policy and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, 1909-2009

edited by Greg Donaghy
contributions by Michael K. Carroll, Norman Hillmer, Galen Roger Perras, Heather Metcalfe, J.L. Granatstein, Adam Chapnick, P. Whitney Lackenbauer, Peter Kikkert, Robin S. Gendron, Michael Hart, Tammy Nemeth, Nelson Michaud, Stephen J. Randall & Elizabeth Riddell-Dixon