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Frozen EmpiresAn Environmental History of the Antarctic Peninsula$
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Adrian Howkins

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190249144

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190249144.001.0001

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Environmental Nationalism

Environmental Nationalism

(p.59) 2 Environmental Nationalism
Frozen Empires

Adrian Howkins

Oxford University Press

From the late 1930s onward, nationalists in Argentina and Chile became increasingly active in their opposition to British sovereignty claims in the Antarctic Peninsula region. This chapter shows how Argentines and Chileans constructed an alternative vision of the Antarctic environment, which directly challenged British assertions of environmental authority and can be labeled as “environmental nationalism.” Rather than using the production of useful scientific knowledge as justification for sovereignty, the governments in Buenos Aires and Santiago argued that geographical proximity, geological continuity, and other evidence of a close connection between the Antarctic Peninsula region and South America demonstrated their political rights. Although both Argentina and Chile framed their arguments against British claims, there was also mutual rivalry. The idea of a “South American Antarctica” developed largely as a result of the fact that the two countries could not agree on their respective boundaries in the far south.

Keywords:   Argentina, Chile, nationalism, South American Antarctica, environmental authority, environmental nationalism

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