The Telecoupled Arctic: Assessing Stakeholder Narratives of Non-Arctic States

  • Eric Paglia
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Science and Technology book series (PSHST)


This chapter explores how Arctic boundaries are being reconceived by external states claiming a stake in the region’s future. The telecoupling concept is employed to analyse multiple inter-latitudinal linkages that non-Arctic states mobilize in stakeholder narratives intended to legitimate their participation in Arctic governance and development. Through analysis of government documents and public pronouncements of non-Arctic states seeking to remain or become Arctic Council observers, the stakeholder narratives’ constituent elements—termed “legitimizers”—are identified, categorized and compared within and between European and Asian states. Reminiscent of Vilhjalmur Stefansson’s “polar Mediterranean” metaphor, the region that emerges from these narratives is characterized by telecouplings that legitimate and link mid-latitude states to the Far North, suggesting a Telecoupled Arctic extending far beyond traditional geographic conceptions of the Arctic.


Arctic Council Observer status Telecoupling 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric Paglia
    • 1
  1. 1.Swedish Defense UniversityStockholmSweden

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