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Diverging Antarctic heritage discourses: the geopolitical ramifications of non-state actor engagement with the ‘state-sanctioned’ version of Antarctic heritage

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posted on 2023-05-21, 09:45 authored by Rebecca HingleyRebecca Hingley
The governance of heritage in Antarctica has always been centred on the nation-state and the dissemination of its Antarctic narrative both within the state and between states. However, non-state actors outside of the state offer alternative conceptions of Antarctic heritage. What are the geopolitical consequences of their engagement with objects and places of heritage on and around the frozen continent? Are non-state actors accounted for within the current, official and dominant discourse on heritage under the Antarctic Treaty System? These questions align with a broader enquiry into the system’s capacity to adequately account for non-state actors and their increasing presence in the polar region 60 years on from the signing of the 1959 Antarctic Treaty. In an attempt to better understand the nature of non-state actors’ interaction with Antarctic heritage and the conditions under which it occurs, this paper will investigate how three non-state actors conceive of and engage with Antarctic heritage: the tourism industry, environmental activists, and individuals. It will then consider the implications of their engagement with Antarctic heritage under the current framework for heritage management, before considering the potential obstacles the system may encounter in the future.


Publication title

The Geographical Journal








Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Royal Geographical Soc

Place of publication

1 Kensington Gore, London, England, Sw7 2Ar

Rights statement

© 2021 Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Hingley, R. Diverging Antarctic heritage discourses: The geopolitical ramifications of non-state actor engagement with the “state-sanctioned” version of Antarctic heritage. Geogr J. 2021; 00: 1– 9, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited.

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