Cultural and Ethnic Studies

Question

Discussion Questions:

Discuss these in your Module 9 Discussion Forum.

  • How does Antrim think the geopolitics of the 21st century will be different from the previous two centuries?
  • What variables does Antrim argue account for this change?
  • What issues does Antrim not discuss?

Reading: 

Rob Huebert, “Canada’s on Thinning Ice,” The Globe and Mail, 29 January 2002.

Discussion Questions:

Discuss these in your Module 9 Discussion Forum.

  • Who does Huebert argue threatens Canadian soveriegnty in the Northwest Passage?

Reading: 

Franklyn Griffiths, “On this day, grab a cold one and think pan-Arctic thoughts,” The Globe and Mail, 30 June 2009.

Discussion Questions:

Discuss these in your Module 9 Discussion Forum.

  • What does Griffiths argue Canada must develop to properly address the Arctic?

Reading

Mary Simon, “Inuit and the Canadian Arctic: Sovereignty begins at home,” Journal of Canadian Studies 43:2 (2009): 250-260. Download PDF. 

Discussion Questions:

Discuss these in your Module 9 Discussion Forum.

  • What is Simon’s main argument?
  • What parts of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s approach to Arctic sovereignty does Simon find outdated and misplaced?
  • What new goals for sovereignty does she set for Canada?

Reading: 

Wilfrid Greaves and Whitney Lackenbauer, “Arctic Sovereignty and Security: Updating our Ideas,” OpenCanada/Arctic Deeply, 23 March 2016.

Discussion Questions:

Discuss these in your Module 9 Discussion Forum.

  • What do Greaves and Lackenbauer mean when they say that “neither ‘sovereignty’ nor ‘security’ has a neutral meaning”?
  • How do the authors think that ‘arctic security’ should be approached?

Answer

Discussion Questions

Reading One

Following Russia’s access to the Arctic, the 21st-century geopolitical changes are inevitable. Russia will be freed from encirclement and geographical isolation. Becoming a maritime state implies that its geopolitical interests will change. In turn, it will welcome foreign businesses, participate in global commercial and financial linkages, and engage in international agreements with other economies and organizations to harmonize shipping, security, safety, and environmental laws (Antrim).

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The variables that Antrim notes as responsible for the 21st century geopolitical changes include the expanded access of the Arctic, which has new fisheries, fossil fuels and minerals, and shortened sea routes as well as navigation along the rivers between the Eurasian heartland and the Arctic cost. The issue that the author failed to address is the commitment in terms of resources to make Russia become a maritime economy.

Reading Two

Huebert argues that the major threats to the Canadian sovereignty in the Northwest Passage lie with possible ownership wrangles and control. While Canada argues that this Passage is an internal waterway, and therefore under its rule, US and European counterparts hold that the route is an international passageway that all countries can use as long as their vessels meet international operation and construction standards (Huebert). Opening of this passage will also put enormous pressure on Canada to establish a Northern infrastructure to control the traffic and patrol the new border.

Reading Three

Griffiths argues that Canadians and Canada must change the way they think and develop a strategy that will properly address the Arctic agenda. The author argues that Canada should not lag behind countries such as Norway, Russia, US and European Union that have already developed Arctic strategies. Canada should devise and use these strategies to position and prepare itself for benefits presented by the Arctic region, including prospects of maritime access and transit, and fossil fuels and minerals (Griffiths). Failing to be (pro)active, Canada risks copying others in an area it can most readily offer  leadership. The strategy will assist Canada to approach the Arctic issues in ways that will shun conflicts and facilitate all countries to exhibit due care when extracting and enjoying the shared natural ecosystem.

Reading Four

Simon puts across two main arguments. First, she talks about the Arctic policy issue on Canada’s sovereignty. However, she is also concerned about the sovereignty of Inuit. She states that Canada must strive to address the needs of Inuit and Canadians who have been lived in the polar area for millennia. Specifically, she notes that the Inuit must receive an equal treatment as other Canadians in terms of infrastructure, education, and healthcare. She concludes this point by arguing that Canada’s Arctic sovereignty process must involve a working partnership with Inuit (Simon 251). Second, Canada must be concerned about the Arctic environment while pursuing its Arctic policy issues. The government must take urgent measures to address the witnessed negative effects of climate change.

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Simon finds Prime Minister Harper’s approaches to Arctic sovereignty such as committing resources for building deep water port, strengthening broadband capacity, improving rail connections, and establishing an army training base as outdated and misplaced (252). Instead, she states that the Arctic sovereignty agenda requires a coordinated strategy that will see the region get a sound civil administration, viable and healthy communities, and responsible ecosystem management (Simon 252). Notably, the government must cultivate a working relationship with Inuit in its Arctic sovereignty pursuit agenda, which must result in notable improvement in their well-being. 

Reading Five

By noting that “neither ‘sovereignty’ nor ‘security’ has a neutral meaning,” Greaves and Lackenbauer meant that the two terms lack a standard meaning in their application in the modern global and domestic politics. Therefore, these words are contextual in that they are conveniently used based on the subject. These habits indicate the modern society’s values and theoretical biases as it relates to whose views or voices people think should play in politics. Climate change, globalization, and the growing appreciation of the rights of inhabitants of polar regions have seen the meaning of security and sovereignty change rapidly.  In the current era, Greaves and Lackenbauer suggest that alternative approaches that focus on cultural, social, economic and environmental concerns of communities should be adopted to enhance the Arctic security.

Works Cited

Antrim, Caitlyn. “The new maritime arctic.” Russia in Global Affairs (2010). http://eng.globalaffairs.ru/number/The-New-Maritime-Arctic-15000.

Greaves, Wilfrid and P. Whitney Lackenbauer. “Wilfrid Greaves and Whitney Lackenbauer, “Arctic Sovereignty and Security: Updating our Ideas,” Open Canada/Arctic Deeply,.” Arctic Deeply 23 March 2016: https://www.newsdeeply.com/arctic/community/2016/03/23/arctic-sovereignty-and-security-updating-our-ideas.

Griffiths, Franklyn. “On this day, grab a cold one and think pan-Arctic thoughts.” The Globe and mail 30 June 2009: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/on-this-day-grab-a-cold-one-and-think-pan-arctic-thoughts/article4355827/.

Huebert, Rob. “Canada’s on thin ice.” The Globe and Mail 29 January 2002: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/canadas-on-thin-ice/article752743/.

Simon, Mary. “Inuit and the Canadian Arctic: Sovereignty begins at home.” Journal of Canadian Studies, Vol. 43 (2) (2009): 250-260.

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