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Geopolitics of research presence

4 January 2022

Finally, there is a pre-publication of a paper written by Erik Molenaar: Response to the politics of research presence in Svalbard. The paper is a reaction to the publication by Torbjørn Pedersen. Knowledgeable Norwegian scientists have always told me, that the Norwegian translation of the Spitsbergen Treaty (Svalbard Treaty as they name it wrongly) has two important elements:
  • Not countries but nationals (companies or people) from signatory countries have equal rights.
  • Acces for maritime, industrial, mining and commercial operations is named but scientific actiivity is not mentioned.
This publication gives a new view on the second element. I don't believe that this is at the moment very important for Norwegian authorities as they are in a long-term process of downscaling the special status of the treaty. Nevertheless, it is really interesting for international law.


There have been two papers in response to this paper published. The overview of all four relevant papers is given here.

Opening the paper in a new tab: here.

The original text of the Spitsbergen Treaty can be found here

There have been two papers in response to this paper published. The overview of all four relevant papers is given here.



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