Episode 42: The New Geopolitics of the Antarctic

After decades of peace, the Antarctic is emerging as a zone for future geopolitical competition.

While recent years have seen a growing international focus on the Arctic, the Earth’s southernmost region – governed by the 1959 Antarctic Treaty – has appeared divorced from wider polar tensions. However, in the last decade, China has expanded its presence and, along with Russia, has emerged as a disruptor of the existing system of Antarctic governance.

This episode of Global Security Briefing examines the core issues of dispute and how China and Russia are challenging the existing regional status quo. Can the governance of the region weather the current tensions? And how should Latin American countries – situated as gateways to the Antarctic but increasingly caught in the confrontation between the West, Russia and China – approach the region?

Neil Melvin is joined by Juan Pablo Toro, Executive Director of Athena Lab – Chile's foremost think tank on foreign and security issues – and Dr Carlos Solar, RUSI’s Senior Research Fellow in Latin American Security.

The views or statements expressed by guests are their own and their appearance on the podcast does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. Views and opinions expressed by RUSI employees are those of the employees and do not necessarily reflect the view of RUSI.


Dr Neil Melvin

Director, International Security

International Security

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Dr Carlos Solar

Senior Research Fellow, Latin American Security

International Security

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