Margaret Moore (Queen's): Is Canada entitled to the Arctic?

This paper examines the moral foundation of arguments for rights over territory in cases where the land is uninhabited or unoccupied. It takes the Canadian claim over the Arctic as an example. It is not asking a question in international law or international relations, but about the deep moral foundations of state authority over territory. It argues that occupancy establishes territorial rights, and this gives indigenous people rights over large parts of the Arctic, but in the case of the interior of islands in the High Arctic Archipelago, which the paper claims are unoccupied, the arguments originally deployed are not strong enough to establish authority over this territory. It surveys these arguments, finds them wanting, examines the relationship between territory and property to conclude that the only basis for territorial authority relies on a stewardship conception of the relationship between the state and the land.

Date & time

Mon 09 Apr 2018, 12:30pm to 2:00pm


Coombs Seminar Room A

Event series


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