The Spring 2015 issue, The New Ice Age: Arctic Battlegrounds, has hit shelves. Watch for the release of Arctic-related content online! …

Not until 1908 or 1909 would humans even reach the North Pole, an accomplishment today usually credited to either Frederick Albert Cook or Rear Admiral Robert Peary and a team of Inuit men. Almost exactly a century later, in 2007, Russia would plant a flag in the Arctic seabed beneath the North Pole by deep-sea submarine, prompting fears of a resource race for the Arctic’s vast petroleum reserves. Indeed, the northernmost roughly six percent of our planet that makes up the Arctic continues to fascinate our species and incite it into conflict.

Today the Arctic is regulated by a complicated web of international treaties and understanding. While research in the Arctic has long been a great example of collaborative international efforts, the region has also been the battleground of territorial disputes, cultural clashes, and environmental debate. In a global context where nations’ claims to sovereignty over territory shape much of our world order, this vast ungoverned territory, rich in natural resources, home to indigenous peoples, and of unparalleled scientific importance, is a fascinating yet often ignored region in the international relations discourse.

This issue of the Harvard International Review, entitled The New Ice Age: The Arctic Battleground, focuses on this dynamic region. In it, Former Prime Minister of Denmark and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen discuss challenges facing peace in the Arctic. Stéphane Dion, former Canadian minister of the environment, asserts the importance of a world price for carbon in combatting global climate change, an issue of profound importance to this fragile region. An article by Yolanda Kakabadse, president of the WWF, argues that we must stop thinking about the Arctic as a resource frontier. In a pair of interviews, Ann Bancroft, an Arctic explorer, talks about her daring adventures on polar expeditions while William Antholis, director and CEO of the Miller Center of Public Affairs, discusses the foreign policy implications of climate change. Finally, staff writers Daryn Forgeron and Kevin Xie write about the challenges facing the indigenous people of the Arctic and the BRICS nations in the Arctic respectively. Between them, these feature articles probe the diverse range of issues facing this complex terra incognita.

This issue will also feature articles from former member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, Dr. Tara Shirvani from the World Bank Group’s Energy and Transport Unit, Professor Myoung-Kyu Park, Director of the Institute for Peace and Unification Studies at Seoul National University, and Steve McDonald, Director of the Africa Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center, as well as interviews with Mary Robinson, UN Special Envoy on Climate Change and former president of Ireland, and Chung Un-Chan, former prime minister of South Korea.

The Arctic is a complex wilderness of politics, resource, life, exploration, discovery, and change, and shall remain a global battleground for decades to come. Vast yet vulnerable, it is a region of huge importance to the human race and to the entire planet, and we hope that this next edition of the Harvard International Review will reignite the global dialogue on this oft-overlooked region.

To breaking the ice—





James Watkins & Neha Dalal