Latin-American contributions to the creation of the Antarctic regime

Ignacio Javier Cardone, Pablo Gabriel Fontana

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

5 Citas (Scopus)


The 60th Anniversary of the signature of the Antarctic Treaty offers an opportunity to revisit interpretations about the process that led to its creation. Argentina and Chile have sometimes been underrated as significant contributors to the design of the Antarctic regime. This could be attributed to the predominance of rationalist theories in International Relations, which disregard the role of minor powers and non-material factors. Nonetheless, the history of Antarctica shows that both countries were pivotal to the creation of this regime. Argentina and Chile were calling for an international agreement for several years, their participation on the tripartite declaration favoured a limited demilitarisation, and Chile’s standstill proposal of 1948 provided a basis for the fundamental article IV.  Both countries developed an articulated agenda to neutralise the political effects of the International Geophysical Year and were very active during the Antarctic Treaty negotiations. While they failed in establishing limitations to the freedom of access, they were successful in avoiding any sort of internationalisation and ensuring the freezing of rights and claims thereby helping to guarantee that international collaboration in scientific research could be sustainable in the longer term. Moreover, their participation in the negotiations imposed two key elements of the Antarctic regime’s environmental character: the banning of nuclear explosions and radioactive waste disposal and the introduction of environmental protection as one of the measures to be agreed. As the only Latin-American countries in the Antarctic Treaty negotiations, they were able to establish a common front and form case-specific alliances that reflected a shared perspective for the southern hemisphere. This example suggests that international institutions are not a mere epiphenomenon of the distribution of power in the international system, and rather minor powers can have an endurable effect.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)300-323
Número de páginas24
PublicaciónThe Polar Journal
EstadoPublicada - 3 jul. 2019
Publicado de forma externa


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