Political philosophy looks to Antarctica

University of Oslo

Political philosophy looks to Antarctica (First open workshop)

December 6-7, 2018 at the University of Oslo

The project Political Philosophy Looks to Antarctica  is pleased to announce its first CFPs. We cordially invite academics at all stages of their career development, and especially graduate students and early career researchers to send us submissions related to wide normative questions relating to territorial rights, resource rights and the legitimacy of international bodies, or to more specific questions connected to the project’s main aims (see below).

About the project

 Global pressure over natural resources in Antarctica will mount in the coming decades. Three pressing factors might motivate states to claim exclusive rights to Antarctica: climate change, dwindling natural resources in occupied territories, and the fact that, by virtue of Article IV of the Antarctic Treaty, the question of sovereignty in the White Continent remains unresolved. We are thus at a unique point in history to influence the ethical dimensions of the decisions that may govern Antarctica in the future.

So far, most analyses of Antarctic politics have taken a descriptive and matter-of-fact approach, while political philosophy has been blind to Antarctica as a case study. In the project “Political Philosophy Looks to Antarctica: Sovereignty, Resource Rights and Legitimacy in the Antarctic Treaty System”, we use these blindspots as a point of departure. Our primary objective is to bring political philosophy to bear on analyses of Antarctic politics more generally, and of the Antarctic Treaty System more specifically, by focusing on two topics. First, we are interested in papers that analyze claims over territory and natural resources in Antarctica from a normative perspective. Second, we are interested in papers that carry out a normative analysis of the political legitimacy of the Antarctic Treaty System, and/or compare it to other international regimes.

Those who wish to participate should submit a 500 word abstract (max) with contact details to Hannah Monsrud Sandvik (h.m.sandvik@ifikk.uio.no), no later than September 15th.


The selected candidates will be notified by the end of September and should send their full papers by November 1stThe project will cover the costs of their trip to Oslo and their accommodation, on the condition that the participants submit their papers by the deadline.

“Political Philosophy Looks to Antarctica” is financed by the Polar Program of the Research Council of Norway.