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Who Owns the Arctic?: Understanding Sovereignty Disputes in the North

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  63 ratings  ·  9 reviews
A topical and informed primer for the most urgent yet least understood geopolitical issue of our time; Arctic sovereignty.

Who actually controls the Northwest Passage? Who owns the trillions of dollars of oil and gas beneath the Arctic Ocean? Which territorial claims will prevail those of the U.S., Russia, Canada or the Nordic nations and why? And, in an age of rapid climat
Kindle Edition, 192 pages
Published February 23rd 2010 by Douglas & McIntyre
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May 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good primer in the international public law perspective on the Canadian claims in the Arctic. Byers is not particularly radical and here is more concerned with articulating a clear snapshot of Canadian interests and their relationships with foreign neighbours––Russia, Denmark, Norway, and America––but also with the Inuit whose land Canada has laid claim to and who the government continually lets down in policymaking and financial redistributions. Most interesting is a brief mention of the devo ...more
Sep 13, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Canadians
This book had the wrong title. It certainly discussed sovereignty disputes in the Northern hemisphere, but it largely focused on Canada, and what Canada has done in its Arctic territories, and what it should do to protect its interest (especially in relations to off-shore mining and resource extraction, and the nature of the Northwest Passage). Canada claims that the Northwest Passage is an internal waterway, much of the rest of the World claims its an international waterway, an important legal ...more
Mar 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian-issues
I found this book very useful for an introduction in international law. The main issue is the status of Canada's claim in the Northwest passage and other areas of the Canadian arctic that are still challenged by other countries such as Denmark (Hans Island) and the United States of America (part of the Beaufort Sea). The main argument of the author is that we must seek cooperation and a better understanding of the needs of the Inuit communities in order to strengthen our link with the north as w ...more
Nicholas Griffith
This book is a political piece (the author may disagree with me here) about the future of the Arctic. While there are many wonderful points presented concerning future land custodianship, the overall tone is of the "upbeat but full of nothing" stuff most politicians use to write their memoirs. There are far more engaging books on the subject that one can actually sink their teeth into. I'd give this one a pass. ...more
Jul 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you want something in-depth this book is probably not for you. However, this doesn't mean that it is bad, just that it is geared to an audience that require a primer on the issues. Who Owns the Arctic? is a very concise and readable overview of the current disputes over arctic sovereignty, the interests of the stakeholders and international legal concepts that are at play. It is extremely useful at clarifying the basic issues and providing a stepping stone for further research. ...more
Apr 15, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though the author started out with a scholarly view examining arctic sovereignty he unfortunately then chose to depart from objectivity and lapse into a political discussion. Far from explaining the intricacies of "who owns the arctic" within international law and precedent it seemed more important to champion political points of view. Still, a decent read, one that shows the author at least has a passion of sorts in the arctic. ...more
Feb 12, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good primer on Arctic sovereignty issues, outlining what is at play with the reality of climate change and a quickly melting ice cap and permafrost. The situation is changing so quickly - I feel we already need an updated edition or website to maintain relevance.
A very interesting read. Schools may want to consider adding this book to their reading lists. It's an issue that should be discussed more widely. ...more
Apr 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Concise, very radable overview of Canada's northern sovereignty issues. Of particular interest is the chapter on Inuit and arctic sovereignty. ...more
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Michael Byers is the author of the story collection The Coast of Good Intentions, a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award, and the acclaimed novel Long for This World, winner of the First Novel Award from Virginia Commonwealth University. Both were New York Times Notable Books. A former Stegner Fellow and Whiting Award winner, he teaches at the University of Michigan.

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