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Politics at the End of the World: the future of Antarctica


12 September 2012

Is Antarctica the first continent to go beyond the modern doctrine of sovereignty?
Is Antarctica the first continent to go beyond the modern doctrine of sovereignty?

Former Greens leader Bob Brown will take part in a Sydney Ideas panel discussion about the politics of Antarctica at the University of Sydney on Thursday 13 September.

Politics at the end of the world: a public forum on the future of Antarctica will address current political developments in Antarctica and their long-term global significance.

"Many observers wax eloquent about Antarctica as an unusual scientific laboratory, a global commons of immeasurable value to the world, the last unspoiled wilderness, a bellwether of global trends," says Professor John Keane, who will chair the discussion.

"But Antarctica is also a remarkable political experiment of global relevance."

The public forum will also pay close attention to the political challenges facing Antarctica, including damage to the local ecosystems, rivalries among states and growing pressures to open up the continent to mining operations, tourism and bio-prospecting.

The forum is co-presented by the University's Institute for Democracy and Human Rights (IDRH) and the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and will be chaired by Professor Keane, director of the IDRH.

Other members of the distinguished panel will be: Jeff Hansen, Australian Director of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society; Robyn Eckersley, Professor of Political Science in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne; and Gillian Triggs, president of the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Among the many questions to be discussed are: Is Antarctica the first continent to go beyond the modern doctrine of sovereignty? If so, is it relevant to the way we think about such matters as the global commons and how the world should be governed in the 21st century?


Panellists

Bob Brown was elected to the Senate in 1996, and was re-elected in 2001. Following the election of four Greens senators in 2004, Bob became parliamentary leader of the Australian Greens in 2005. He retired from the Senate in June 2012.

Robyn Eckersley is Professor of Political Science in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne, and Coordinator of the Faculty of Arts Master of International Relations Program.



Jeff Hansen is Australian Director of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organisation. 



Gillian Triggs is the current president of the Australian Human Rights Commission (HRC) and was previously Dean of Sydney Law School, University of Sydney.


Event details

What: Politics at the End of the World: a public forum on the future of Antarctica, a Sydney Ideas forum

When: 6 to 7.30pm, Thursday 13 September

Where: General Lecture Theatre, the Quadrangle, Camperdown Campus

Cost: Free

Book now online


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