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Title: Going into the North: Critical Geopolitics of Singapore’s Arctic ventures
Authors: Naufal Khan Surattee
Keywords: Arctic, Singapore, Critical Geopolitics, Small States, Subaltern, Discourse Analysis
Issue Date: 2018
Citation: Naufal Khan Surattee (2018). Going into the North: Critical Geopolitics of Singapore’s Arctic ventures. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The Arctic and its changing conditions arising from global environmental change have positioned the space at the forefront of global geopolitics. Consequent of this, a variety of non- Arctic actors have pivoted northwards to stake a claim within the circumpolar space. In the field of Arctic geopolitics, the region’s understandings and imaginations have been dictated by Arctic states and western perspectives. This research identifies a dearth in Asian perspectives – within literature and practice – towards the Arctic in spite of their presence in the Arctic Council. Fundamental to this shortage of Asian views are apprehensive attitudes embodied by circumpolar actors towards Oriental states. Their preconceived notions that reduce Asian interests solely to political economic motivations impedes an appreciation of the Arctic’s complex global connections. Hence, this thesis explores the ways in which representations of the circumpolar space by an Asian Permanent Observer state, Singapore, have been constructed to 1) better understand their northern motivations, and 2) elucidate the Arctic’s global meanings. Channeling insights drawn from critical geopolitics, this thesis examines how they have utilized their small state concerns to weave subaltern perspectives into contemporary Arctic understanding. Empirically, materials from two agencies, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and The Straits Times were studied owing to their power to articulate the city-state’s Arctic interests internationally and domestically. From this, a qualitative approach through content and discourse analysis of speeches and statements from both agencies highlight the themes and values shaping the Arctic, while a questionnaire survey was executed to explore local mindsets of the region. Through these methods, this thesis illustrates how Singapore’s representations of the Arctic have intertwined both spaces together to cement their position within the circumpolar region through non-political economic means, as well as, using the space opportunistically to safeguard their geopolitical interests.
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses (Restricted)

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