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Wet Geographies panels at upcoming RGS meeting

There will be a veritable cascade of ‘Wet Geography’ panels at next week’s Royal Geographical Society meeting in Exeter. Over the course of three days, participants will be exploring our watery world from (at least) three different perspectives.

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New Associate Editors at Political Geography

Halvard Buhaug

Halvard Buhaug

Fiona McConnell

Fiona McConnell

The new Political Geography editorial team for 2016 (and beyond?) is now in place. James Sidaway, Jo Sharp, and I will be joined by two new associate editors: Halvard Buhaug, from the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), and Fiona McConnell, from Oxford University.  Halvard and Fiona both currently serve on the journal’s editorial board and have a long history assisting in directing the journal. They both come to the journal with a wealth of experience in journal editing and management, as well as being leading scholars in the field. In addition to Halvard and Fiona, James Sidaway will be continuing on as associate editor and Jo Sharp will have her remit expanded from reviews editor to associate editor with responsibility for the entire ‘Setting the Agenda’ section (guest editorial, review essays, review forums, etc.).

It’s with a sense of humility (yes, really, I do have humility) that I find myself stepping into the shoes of John O’Loughlin, who has been steering political geography’s flagship journal since 2000, as well as the even deeper shoes (wellies?) of Peter Taylor who founded the journal in 1982. I’m not envisioning holding the editor-in-chief post as long as either of them, but with this excellent team of associate editors now in place I expect the journal to flourish for quite some time.

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Contesting the Arctic reviewed in Foreign Affairs

Screen Shot 2015-08-21 at 16.07.09I was thrilled to find Contesting the Arctic profiled in a review essay in Foreign Affairs. To quote from the final paragraph:

Contesting the Arctic is one of the most significant recent works of Arctic scholarship….By presenting and assessing how hundreds of individuals involved in Arctic policy formulation perceive the region, the book gives readers unparalleled insight into its current state and future….The work is a must-read for those interested in the High North and international affairs generally.

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Arctic seabed claims and the politics of mapping

Following up on my recent blogpost on Russia’s Arctic seabed claim, The Conversation has published a companion piece on some of the politics surrounding the IBRU Arctic map, its drawing, and its reception. The Conversation article integrates analysis of some of the recent (manufactured) controversy surrounding the Russian claim with reflections that I made earlier this year on the map’s seven-year history. Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 11.42.29

For more on Russia’s recent claim and what it means (and doesn’t mean), see also this recent article in the New Scientist by the map’s designer, Martin Pratt.

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On Russia’s Arctic seabed claim, media spin, and the perils of Hawaiian shirts

Arctic-map-Web-05_08_15

IBRU’s new Arctic map, with August 2015 Russian claims shown in pale yellow

As has been reported throughout the media, earlier this week Russia made a revised filing with the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS), presenting evidence backing up its earlier claim that portions of the Arctic seabed are contiguous extensions of the Russian continent and should be considered part of Russia’s extended continental shelf.

Arctic scholars watched with frustration (but not surprise) as the media portrayed this as a unilateral attempt by Russia to extend its territory into the innocent, unsuspecting world of Santa Claus and Stephen Harper. While I don’t question that unilateral expansion has happened elsewhere on Russia’s frontier (Crimea being the most obvious example), the happy truth is that the Arctic remains a place where Russia, and other states, have more-or-less played by the rules that are spelled out under international law. Continue Reading »

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Me and my predator….or how I had a near brush in the netherworld of shady publishing and lived to tell the tale

There’s been a lot written about the many changes that have been shaking up the academic publishing world, including the rise of ‘predatory journals’. Somewhere between vanity presses and Nigerian 419 scams, these journals have been established in the wake of the gold ‘open access’ movement to offer easy publication in a seemingly ‘international’ journal, all at a discount price with relatively ‘light’ peer review. Fly-by-night publishers make money from Article Processing Charges (APCs) while 2nd-rate scholars get their articles published in journals with titles (and editorial boards) designed to convince promotion panels that they’re the acme of academic rigour. It’s a win-win situation for everyone…except the research councils and taxpayers who bankroll the APC payments and the scholarly world that expects that articles achieve publication because they’ve undergone rigorous peer review rather than because their authors have the ability to pay. Continue Reading »

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ICE LAW Update

I’m happy to announce that the Leverhulme Trust’s International Networks Programme has agreed fund a series of workshops, conferences and meetings to further the Project on Indeterminate and Changing Environments: Law, the Anthropocene, and the World (the ICE LAW Project), a project being organised by IBRU: Durham University’s Centre for Borders Research with the support of the UArctic Thematic Network on Arctic Law. Continue Reading »

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