Coming of age? Asian Arctic research, 2004–13

In Svein Vigeland Rottem and Ida Soltvedt Folkestad (eds), Arctic Governance: Norway, Russia and Asia. Volume 3. I.B. Tauris, 2019, pp. 237-258.

In a worldview of grand politics, any actions of a country or its representatives may be interpreted as part of a power play. Governments frequently use soft power – the ability to influence others so as to obtain the desired outcomes through attraction rather than coercion or payment – and public diplomacy to win credibility among the public, the media, businesses and intergovernmental organizations. In several cases, science has been employed as part of a twotrack diplomacy. The Arctic research efforts of Asian countries preceded their applications for AC observer status, but have been little examined. Occasionally, their research activity in the region has been interpreted as an expression of wider interests concerning the Arctic. In this chapter I focus on the period 2004–13, to shed light on the development of Asian research on the Arctic as regards Asia’s four largest economies: China, India, Japan and South Korea.

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