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Polar Theatre: The Evolution of Acts of Sovereignty in the Norwegian Antarctic


Abstract and Figures

Over fifty years on from the activation of the Antarctic Treaty System, the seven Antarctic claimant states continue to assert their sovereignty over their suspended territorial claims on the Antarctic continent. Since the start of Antarctic colonization over a century ago, the claimant states performed acts of sovereignty on territory that strengthens the legitimacy of their claims. Such acts have included seemingly benign activities like planting flags, making speeches, and establishing infrastructure. However, over time, these acts have accelerated to more forceful acts that can challenge other claimants or the international legal regime that governs the continent. This paper is a comparative analysis of the methods used by the Kingdom of Norway in the Antarctic region. Norway’s actions in the region will be split into two time periods and examined for differences in the nation’s actions. The nation’s attitude towards its Antarctic dependencies will also be compared over time to identify how Antarctica’s place in greater Norwegian global strategy has evolved.
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Polar Theatre: The Evolution of Acts of
Sovereignty in the Norwegian Antarctic
A Thesis Presented to the Global 30 Program at
The School of Social and International Studies,
The University of Tsukuba
August 2017
Student Number: 201318010
Name: Jason Ryan Thompson
Supervisor: Edson Ioshiaqui Urano
Over fty years on from the activation of the Antarctic Treaty System, the seven
Antarctic claimant states continue to assert their sovereignty over their suspended
territorial claims on the Antarctic continent. Since the start of Antarctic colonization
over a century ago, the claimant states performed acts of sovereignty on territory
that strengthens the legitimacy of their claims. Such acts have included seemingly
benign activities like planting ags, making speeches, and establishing infrastructure.
However, over time, these acts have accelerated to more forceful acts that can challenge
other claimants or the international legal regime that governs the continent.
This paper is a comparative analysis of the methods used by the Kingdom of
Norway in the Antarctic region. Norway’s actions in the region will be split into two
time periods and examined for dierences in the nation’s actions. The nation’s attitude
towards its Antarctic dependencies will also be compared over time to identify how
Antarctica’s place in greater Norwegian global strategy has evolved.
The author would like the acknowledge and thank the following people and orga-
nizations for their part in the creation of this work.
Katarina Fluge for her assistance translating Norwegian laws, archaic decrees,
and illegible ship logs into something I could understand
Takeshi Hirose for his invaluable research guidance and being my guide through
the mysterious workings of Japanese oce culture
Louis Irving for hiring me to take on the ugly world of Japanese web design and
allowing me to fund my education one pixel at a time
Tomoichi Shinotsuka for trusting me to build something in which I can be truly
proud and for giving me condence in myself to succeed
Edson Urano for taking on a student with an unusual project and pushing him
towards the nish line
The faculty and staof the Global 30 program for their part in expanding my
horizons, supporting my studies, and giving me a chance to step into the wider
The staof the University of Tsukuba’s Oce of Global Initiatives for wel-
coming me into their oce and giving me a three year crash course in Japanese
oce etiquette
My friends that joined me on this journey and tolerated my neuroses over the
past four years; to Alex,Issei,Mark, and Ono, I wish for you a bright future
My parents who taught me early on to take chances, make mistakes, and get
Table of Contents
Abstract i
Acknowledgements ii
Table of Contents iii
List of Figures vi
1 Introduction 1
1.1 Introduction to Research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
1.1.1 Geography of Antarctica . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
1.1.2 Politics of Antarctica . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
1.1.3 ResearchIssue ........................... 7
1.1.4 Research Questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
1.1.5 ResearchGap............................ 8
1.2 StructureofthePaper............................ 9
1.3 ChapterSummary.............................. 10
2 Sovereignty 11
2.1 DeningSovereignty ............................ 11
2.2 Components of Sovereignty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
2.2.1 Mandate............................... 13
2.2.2 Discovery .............................. 13
2.2.3 Occupation ............................. 14
2.2.4 Authority .............................. 15
2.2.5 Coercion............................... 16
2.2.6 Recognition............................. 16
2.2.7 Territoriality............................. 17
2.2.8 Conclusion ............................. 17
2.3 TerraNullius................................. 18
2.4 SectorTheory ................................ 19
2.5 ChapterSummary.............................. 20
3 Research Methodology 21
3.1 Methodological Approach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
3.2 ResearchDesign............................... 21
3.3 ResearchMethod .............................. 22
3.3.1 Qualitative Document Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
3.3.2 Document Analysis in Practice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
3.4 DataCollection ............................... 23
3.5 Limitations.................................. 24
3.6 ChapterSummary.............................. 24
4 Norway in the Antarctic (1892 to 1961) 26
4.1 Larsen Expedition of 1892-94 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
4.2 Bull Expedition of 1893-95 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
4.3 Amundsen Expedition of 1910-12 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
4.4 Norvegia Expeditions of 1927-31 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
4.5 The Dependency Act of 1933 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
4.6 Neuschwabenland & the Annexation of Dronning Maud Land . . . . . 30
4.7 PostwarActions ............................... 31
4.7.1 Norwegian Involvement in the International Geophysical Year . 31
4.7.2 Norway and the Antarctic Treaty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
4.8 ChapterSummary.............................. 32
5 Norway in the Antarctic (1961 to 2015) 33
5.1 Period of Indierence and the Return to Antarctica . . . . . . . . . . . 33
5.2 Development and Administration of the Norwegian Antarctic . . . . . 34
5.2.1 Boundary Changes of Dronning Maud Land . . . . . . . . . . . 34
5.2.2 Authority and Coercion in the Antarctic Dependencies . . . . . 34
5.3 Norwegian Contemporary Antarctic Strategy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
5.3.1 Norway: The Cooperator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
5.3.2 Norway: The Inspector . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
5.3.3 Norway: The Constructor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
5.3.4 Norway: The Exploiter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
5.4 ChapterSummary.............................. 40
6 Research Analysis 41
6.1 Discovery................................... 41
6.1.1 Period of Antarctic Discovery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
6.1.2 Decline of Norwegian Discovery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
6.2 Territoriality ................................. 42
6.2.1 Dronning Maud Land’s Ambiguous Boundaries . . . . . . . . . 42
6.2.2 Norwegian Rejection of Sector Theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
6.2.3 Norwegian Territorial Expansion in the Antarctic . . . . . . . . 43
6.3 Recognition ................................. 44
6.4 Occupation.................................. 44
6.5 Authority and Coercion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
6.5.1 The Dependency Act . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
6.5.2 Military Use of Antarctica . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
6.6 ChapterSummary.............................. 46
7 Conclusion 47
7.1 What methods of asserting sovereignty has Norway practiced in the
Antarctic?................................... 47
7.2 How have Norway’s acts of sovereignty in the Antarctic evolved over time? 48
7.3 In what ways has Norway’s attitude towards Antarctica and its Antarctic
dependencies changed over time? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
7.4 ChapterSummary.............................. 49
A Table of Norwegian Acts of Sovereignty in the Antarctic 1892-1961 50
B Table of Norwegian Acts of Sovereignty in the Antarctic 1961-2015 61
Bibliography 64
List of Figures
1.1 Map of Antarctica showing east and west regions . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
1.2 Map of Antarctica showing territorial claims as of 2015 . . . . . . . . . 5
2.1 Map of Antarctica showing unclaimed territory as of 2015 . . . . . . . 18
5.1 Excerpt from a map of Antarctica from the CIA World Factbook (circa
2009) showing the undened boundaries of Dronning Maud Land (“Perry-
Castañeda Library Map Collection - Polar Regions and Oceans Maps”
n.d.)...................................... 35
5.2 Map from Norwegian Interests and Policy in the Antarctic showing Nor-
wegian government’s redened boundaries of Dronning Maud Land
(Norwegian Interests and Policy in the Antarctic 2015, 18) . . . . . . . . . 36
5.3 Map from Antarctic Logistics Centre International showing DROMLAN
network (“Guidelines for ALCI Passengers” 2014, 1) . . . . . . . . . . . 38
7.1 Chart showing the total signicant acts of Norwegian sovereignty in the
Antarctic as recorded by this paper organized by type . . . . . . . . . . 47
7.2 Chart showing the percentage of acts of Norwegian sovereignty in the
Antarctic as recorded by this paper organized by type per year . . . . 48
Chapter 1
Convinced also that a treaty ensuring the use of Antarctica for peaceful purposes
only and the continuance of international harmony in Antarctica will further
the purposes and principles embodied in the Charter of the United Nations, have
agreed as follows. . .
Preamble to the Antarctic Treaty, 1959
The wave of European colonialism that spread to every corner of the known world
by the nineteenth century began to dissipate by the start of the twentieth century. Only
one land was left untouched by humans: the southern continent of Antarctica. Its
remote location and hostile environment let it remain undiscovered and undisturbed
by humans for centuries, but this repose was not to last forever (Fleming 1947, 546).
The rest of the planet had been conquered and colonized by the west, and in the eyes
of the great powers of the time, Antarctica was the last frontier. In a resolution passed
at the Sixth International Geographical Congress in 1895, the exploration of Antarctica
was to be “the greatest piece of geographical exploration still to be undertaken,” (549).
The continent’s isolation was soon to come to an end.
Over the rst half of the twentieth century, seven states carved out sectors of the
southern continent for themselves (551-552). Some of these states viewed Antarctica as
a strategic outpost for their empires while some others believed that their claim was
justied by their own location, culture, and history (552). A few of these states were
simply at the right place at the right time. Regardless of their justication, each of these
states employed various methods of establishing sovereignty and legitimacy over their
territory when making their claims. These acts of sovereignty, most rooted in the past
centuries’ culture of western exploration and imperialism, are the key that determines
the legitimacy of a state’s presence in Antarctica.
The concept of sovereignty and the methods that states use to acquire and maintain
their territorial legitimacy are the main focus of this paper’s research. By examining
the colonization of Antarctica during the past century, the full cycle of sovereignty can
be observed: the initial acquisition of power, maintaining and defending a territorial
claim, and the struggle to maintain legitimacy against pressure from outsiders. Even
to the present day, sovereignty of the Antarctic is still in a state of ux and serves as a
perfect laboratory to study the mechanics and strategies that states use in this political
game of power.
1.1 Introduction to Research
Antarctica is a complicated place. The cartographic, geographic, and political
complexities of the continent and its surrounding waters can rival those of a more
settled region on the planet despite Antarctica only being discovered by humans quite
recently. When it was discovered in the 19th century, Antarctica became the setting
for the last great colonial land rush. In contrast, just one century later, it was the site
of the rst major example of postwar intergovernmental scientic collaboration that
was not for the betterment of individual nations, but instead for the betterment of
human civilization as a whole. The continent’s vast expanses of land and ice, most still
untouched by humans, tell us the story of our planet’s past while, at the same time, the
vast environmental changes occurring in and around the continent give us a warning
about its future. Antarctica, and the scientic research that occurs there, is a crucial
element in the understanding of our environment, our planet, and our society.
This section will dene Antarctica geographically, politically, and historically. First,
Antarctica will be examined as it is usually seen, as a piece of barren land at the bottom
of world maps, and to explore the basic geography of the continent as it essential to
understand the political history of the region. Next, a brief account of the colonial
history of the Antarctic region will follow along with an overview of the 1959 Antarctic
Treaty, the core agreement that dictates intergovernmental Antarctic policy to this day.
Finally, the research gap and thesis for this paper will be presented.
1.1.1 Geography of Antarctica
Antarctica’s placement in relation to the common orientation of the planet causes it
to be rendered on most world maps as a slab of land at the far south. It is often omitted
entirely. Because of Antarctica’s obscurity and unfortunate location, this practice is
accepted as a necessary abstraction. Since the continent is rarely shown in a way that
reects reality, it is necessary to dene the geography and regions of the continent for
the purposes of this paper.
Before examining the continent proper, it is important to dene the scope of Antarc-
tica within the Southern Ocean region. The main Antarctic landmass and coastal is-
lands are included as the core of the continent, but the extent of how far into the
ocean it should extend has been debated. For the purposes of this paper and to follow
the norm set forth by Article VI of the Antarctic Treaty, Antarctica is dened as all
land and ice shelves south of 60°S latitude (Antarctic Treaty 1959, 76). This denition
includes the continent and some surrounding island groups like the South Orkney Is-
lands and the South Shetland Islands but excludes some islands typically associated
with Antarctic region like Norway’s Bouvetøya. However, since Bouvetøya’s history is
linked to this paper’s research, it will be included when referencing Antarctic territory.
When the continent is depicted from above, Antarctica is rendered with the prime
meridian running from the top to the bottom through the continent with the 90°meridian
intersecting it at the South Pole from the left to the right (Sievers and Bennat 1989, 353).
To the north is the South Atlantic Ocean. Africa is located north-northeast of the con-
tinent while South America is west-northwest and Australia is directly southeast.
The Antarctic continent itself is separated into two main regions along the Transantarc-
tic Mountain range: East Antarctica and West Antarctica (Gibbs 2011, 282). East
Antarctica comprises the vast majority of the continent and is dominated by the East
Figure 1.1: Map of Antarctica showing east and west regions
Map data from Natural Earth.
Antarctic Ice Sheet. On the surface, this giant chunk of ice may appear like a bar-
ren wasteland, but below the surface lies a tremendous amount of natural resources,
namely in the form of minerals and oil (R. W. Scott 1988, 3). West Antarctica, in con-
trast, is much smaller than its eastern counterpart. The region’s primary feature is the
Antarctic Peninsula1which stretches up towards Tierra del Fuego at the southern tip
of South America. On either side of the region are two bodies of water, the Ross and
Weddell Seas, the latter of which is partially covered by sections of the West Antarctic
Ice Sheet.
1. The name of the peninsula is disputed among the many stakeholders of the area. Since discovery,
it has been known as Tierra de San Martín (Argentina), O’Higgins Land (Chile), Graham Land (UK),
and Palmer Land (US) (Hayton 1956, 592).
1.1.2 Politics of Antarctica
From a natural science perspective, Antarctica is a trove of scientic data that has
led and continues to lead to a better understanding the world around us (Dastidar
and Persson 2005, 1552). It is a literal land frozen in time. The continent’s ancient
glaciers hold valuable data that allow scientists from around the world a practical
way to glimpse into our planet’s past. These same glacier’s rapid deterioration gives
the people of the world a preview of what is yet to come from the eects of climate
change. The importance of the research into these elds, among countless others,
makes Antarctica’s importance to the advancement of science clear. This scientic
mandate forms the core of Antarctic political policy from the 1950s onward (Antarctic
Treaty 1959, 74).
Viewing Antarctica and its place in society from a social science perspective is
a more opaque matter. Antarctica has grown in a time of just over one hundred
years from being completely devoid of civilization to a land rife with classic European
colonialism to a unique, almost condominium-like, example of global administration.
Yet, even with this political evolution, elements of the past remain and continue to make
Antarctica both an example of progressive political idealism and antiquated western
Waves of Imperialism
Scott proposes that there have been a total of three waves of imperialism in Antarc-
tica (S. V. Scott 2011, 51). The rst was initiated by the papacy in the 15th century when
it declared a pole to pole territorial mandate for the Castilian and Portuguese empires
(55). This is the rst recorded use of sector theory as a means for territorial acquisition
(Head 1963, 202). Centuries later, this mandate was the core of a claim by the modern
states of Argentina and Chile to the land immediately south of the American continent.
The second wave of imperialism was a continuation of European colonial policy
extended to the Antarctic continent (S. V. Scott 2011, 55-56). It again employed a
variant of sector theory to partition the continent between states. These territorial
claims were made by states that discovered and explored the continent. The legitimacy
of the second wave of claims, while stronger than those of the rst, were disputed by
other states. Altercations occurred between opposing states, especially between the
South American claimants and the United Kingdom, which caused the once peaceful
continent to become one of the rst hotspots of the Cold War (Hayton 1956, 592).
The third wave of imperialism dened by Scott was an eort spearheaded by the
United States to halt the spread of colonialism on the continent and indirectly bring
it under American control using the Antarctic Treaty of 1959 (S. V. Scott 2011, 56-
59). This interpretation of Antarctic history contradicts the traditional narrative which
depicts the claimant states and other world powers (the United States and the Soviet
Union) putting their territorial claims and political rivalries aside to dedicate Antarctica
to the advancement of science. The ATS was the symbol of this newfound spirit
of international cooperation. Scott instead suggests that the internationalization of
Antartica can be seen as an act of postcolonial imperialism by the United States.
Figure 1.2: Map of Antarctica showing territorial claims as of 2015
Map data from Natural Earth.
International Geophysical Year
Following the end of the Second World War, the continued political disputes in
Antarctica prompted the international community to try to develop an amicable solu-
tion to protect and maintain the continent’s neutrality (Triggs 2011, 41). Several nations,
including the United States and the Soviet Union, had proposed to place the conti-
nent under trusteeship of the United Nations, but Argentina, Australia, Chile, and later
France rejected any proposal that would undermine their sovereignty in the Antarctic.
For the next decade, several other proposals including creating a continent-wide con-
dominium and letting the International Court of Justice rule on the validity of claims
also failed.
While the international community was trying to solve the Antarctica problem via
governance, a separate initiative focused on expanding the scientic research on the
continent was being prepared by the International Council for Scientic Unions’ Special
Committee for Antarctic Research (42). This was part of the International Geophysical
Year (IGY) of 1957-1958, a project to promote international scientic collaboration
between nations. States that participated in the IGY were allowed to establish scientic
research bases anywhere in Antarctica, including in a sector claimed by another state,
provided that they share any research done with other participating nations. While this
project could have been seen as damaging the sovereignty of the continental claims,
the claimant states viewed this form of internationalization for the benet of science
as a better alternative to a more rigid, governmental style of administration since it
was not designed to undermine sovereignty. One concern that claimant states did
have was that once the IGY was over foreign bases on claimed territory would unlikely
be dismantled. This fact led to a resurgence of Antarctic governance negotiations
following the conclusion of the IGY.
The Antarctic Treaty
The success of the IGY provided the impetus to make one nal push to establish an
international agreement to regulate activities in Antarctica since, as diplomat Phillip
Jessup stated at a US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearing, a treaty for the
Antarctic would “permit the last great empty continent from becoming an international
bone of contention, a scene of controversy and actual ghting” (Triggs 2011, 40). The
United States took the rst step by rst privately discussing the issue with the relevant
parties and then organizing a conference in 1959 to draft an agreement. The states
invited to the negotiating table were the seven claimant states (Argentina, Australia,
Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway, and the United Kingdom), the three states that
conducted signicant research during the IGY (Belgium, Japan, and South Africa), and
the two superpowers of the time (the Soviet Union and the United States) (42). After
only six weeks, the Antarctic Treaty was adopted by the twelve states.
The Antarctic Treaty was a landmark intergovernmental agreement in the initial
years of the Cold War. The rst sentence of Article I, “Antarctica shall be used for
peaceful purposes only,” sets the stage for the rest of the document (Antarctic Treaty
1959, 72). In subsequent articles, the use of military, territorial expansion, and nuclear
testing were banned while the freedom of scientic research for all signatory nations
was ensured (72-76).
The ATS has grown to include two primary classes of involvement that state can
attain within the treaty governance system (Triggs 2011, 43). The rst level, a non-
consultative party, is simply a state that has become a signatory the Antarctic Treaty.
These states are invited to attend annual meetings between the parties of the treaty but
are not extended voting rights on resolutions presented during these meetings.
The second level of involvement of treaty governance, an Antarctic Treaty Consul-
tative Party (ATCP), allows a state to vote on “measures in furtherance of the principles
and objectives of the Treaty” (Triggs 2011, 43; Antarctic Treaty 1959, 79). As of 2015,
53 states are signatories to the Antarctic Treaty with 29 of those states holding ATCP
status (Antarctic Treaty, n.d.).
The Myth of Cooperation
The history of humans occupying Antarctica is quite brief, but, even in this short
period, a modern mythology has developed between some of the continent’s govern-
mental actors that skews, or in some cases ignores entirely, the regional political strug-
gles that have occurred and that still occur to this day in and around the continent
(S. V. Scott 2011, 52). This new narrative proclaims the virtues of international cooper-
ation and collaboration without acknowledging the continued prevalence of Antarctic
colonialism and hegemony, in both traditional and more contemporary forms (59). The
states that continue to maintain a colonial presence on the continent, the claimant
states, publicly support and comply with the continent’s intergovernmental governance
mechanism, the Antarctic Treaty, while continuing to exert national inuence over their
claimed territory as if it was their undisputed sovereign land.
The state of modern territorial sovereignty in Antarctica can be observed from two
dierent perspectives. First, Article IV of the 1959 Antarctic Treaty specically states
No acts or activities taking place while the present Treaty is in force shall
constitute a basis for asserting, supporting or denying a claim to territorial
sovereignty in Antarctica or create any rights of sovereignty in Antarctica.
No new claim, or enlargement of an existing claim, to territorial sovereignty
in Antarctica shall be asserted while the present Treaty is in force (Antarctic
Treaty 1959, 75).
In the common parlance of post-treaty Antarctic research, this article is said to have
‘frozen’ the eight separate territorial claims in and around the Antarctic continent and
prevented the establishment of any further claims in the future (S. V. Scott 2011, 51).
This is the deterrent that put a stop to the wave of colonialization that began at the
start of the twentieth century and is the common narrative proclaimed by the claimant
states and the rest of the treaty signatories (55). This article, however, does not dissolve
the existing claims. Article IV also states that,
Nothing contained in the present Treaty shall be interpreted as:
a renunciation by any Contracting Party of previous asserted rights of
or claims to territorial sovereignty in Antarctica;
• a renunciation or diminution by any Contracting Party of any ba-
sis of claim to territorial sovereignty in Antarctica which it may have
whether as a result of its activities or those of its national in Antarc-
tica, or otherwise;
prejudicing the position of any Contracting Party as regards its recog-
nition or non-recognition of any other State’s right of or claim or basis
of claim to territorial sovereignty in Antarctica.
Therefore, the Antarctic Treaty can be seen as a barrier by those states who were
not part of the second wave of Antarctic imperialism, specically modern developing
states and former European colonies. The original signatories of the Antarctic Treaty,
whose committee positions are permanent, can be seen as the de facto rulers of the
continent while the other signatories are relegated as second class citizens.
1.1.3 Research Issue
This paper will examine the actions of an Antarctic claimant state in the contem-
porary era, dened for the purpose of this paper from the year 1961 to 2015, and
to identify the methods that this claimant state used to express its sovereignty over
its Antarctic territorial claims. These methods will be analyzed and compared to the
state’s classical acts of Antarctic sovereignty, dened as relevant events from the dis-
covery of Antarctica to 1961, to determine if and how these acts have evolved over time.
The subject chosen for this analysis is the Kingdom of Norway and the evolution of its
relationship with its Antarctic dependencies of Dronning Maud Land & Peter I Øy and
its subantarctic dependency Bouvetøya.
The decision to study the Antarctic activities of Norway as the focus of this paper
is based on three primary criteria. First, the activities of Norway in the early days
of Antarctic exploration does, according to the components of sovereignty discussed
in Chapter 2, give Norway a legitimate claim to territory on the continent. Second,
Norway’s continental claim has generated less controversy compared to its neighbors
and is widely accepted by the majority of its Antarctic peers, claimant or not, as a major
cooperative player on the continent. And third, modern Norway was never an empire-
building nation, but instead, until its independence in 1905, a subject of multiple higher
powers: Denmark and Sweden. Unlike France and the United Kingdom, Norway does
not suer the stigma of being a historical colonial power that claims land to expand
its empire. Instead, they are seen as explorers and adventurers whose territorial claims
are rightfully earned as they were among the rst pioneers to conquer the region.
The choice of specically studying the actions of Norway in the Antarctic can
be summarized by arguing that Norway is the one of the few nations that has an
legitimate right to claim a portion of the continent based on the norms of the time.
Because of that legitimacy, it is one of the more intriguing examples of how a nation
builds a cooperative yet independent presence on the continent without using military
or political force. However, Norway’s Antarctic presence is not without controversy as
the nation’s actions, specically within the past decade, have increased its inuence on
the continent and even challenged the status quo of the Antarctic Treaty itself. This
contrast and the transformation from reluctant claimant to dominant player makes
Norway an interesting case study of how a state gains traction on the ice.
1.1.4 Research Questions
The research questions that will be addressed in this paper are the following:
What methods of asserting sovereignty has Norway practiced in the Antarctic?
How have Norway’s acts of sovereignty in the Antarctic evolved over time?
In what ways has Norway’s attitude towards Antarctica and its Antarctic depen-
dencies changed over time?
1.1.5 Research Gap
There is a substantial amount of scholarship on the political history of Antarctica
and the power struggles that the claimant states have had with each other. This lit-
erature can be divided into two primary categories. First, the majority of the articles
and books written up to the activation of the Antarctic Treaty in 1961 focus on the dis-
covery of the continent and the initial territorial claims made on its land. The content
of these works is generally written on a macro scale and focuses on the issues on the
continent as a whole. While the issues and claims of individual nations are recognized
and written about, it was only one part of the overall story of Antarctica.
The literature written in the post-treaty world shifts from a macro focus to a mi-
cro focus. While works that examine the continent as a whole are still prevalent, a
new, more focused style of literature began to appear where issues of individual na-
tions become the primary topic of discussion. This shift was not equally distributed
for all players on the continent. Signicant amounts of literature has been written
about controversial topics like the northwestern Antarctica claim disputes between Ar-
gentina, Chile, and the United Kingdom. Additionally, some claimant states produce a
sizable amount of literature that justies and legitimizes their individual claim and, in
some cases, argues for its expansion. This style of literature is produced by the more
aggressive claimant states like Argentina and Australia.
States that are not involved with controversial issues in Antarctica have less lit-
erature written about them. The two prime examples of this phenomenon are New
Zealand and Norway. In the case of New Zealand, many issues that might be written
about it or the Ross Dependency are actually focused on the United States’ role on the
continent since McMurdo Station, the largest American Antarctic base, is located on
its coast. In the case of Norway, besides the legendary tales of Norwegian exploration
in the region in the rst decades of the twentieth century, very little literature about
Norway’s actions on the continent and its administration of its Antarctic lands has been
composed outside of a few government white papers.
Ultimately, this paper is interested in examining how a state can assert its sovereignty
in a place where their legitimacy is almost universally rejected by the greater world and
how their actions on that land strengthen or weaken their power and legitimacy in the
region. Norway and its Antarctic territories will be used as the subject of this analy-
sis due to the state’s unique position in Antarctic history as a reluctant power. While
Norway had reasons for being in the Antarctic, namely for whaling, it had little desire
to be locked into a territorial battle on the other side of the world. The only reason it
ocially proclaimed sovereignty over Dronning Maud Land was because another Eu-
ropean power, Nazi Germany, forced its hand in 1939. It has ever since been included
in the inner circle of Antarctic geopolitics, elevating what was then a relatively weak,
diplomatically unexperienced country to the same level as the top world powers of the
This paper will attempt to ll a research gap in the literature of Antarctic sovereignty
by detailing the Norwegian government’s actions in its claimed lands in the Antarctic
with regards to how these actions legitimize its sovereignty in the region. It will com-
pare actions taken before and after the activation of the Antarctic Treaty of 1961 to see
if Norway’s acts of sovereignty evolved or changed in any signicant way. It will also ex-
amine Norway’s relationship with its Antarctic peers to determine how much inuence
the nation has on the continent. This kind of focused study has not been objectively
undertaken that specically looks at the acts of sovereignty of a single claimant state
in the Antarctic and analyzes the evolution of these acts over a set period.
1.2 Structure of the Paper
This paper is divided into seven chapters.
This rst chapter introduced the topic of this paper, identied the research gap
that will be explored, and detailed the research questions that will be answered. It also
provided a brief introduction to Antarctica and the history of human activity on and
around the continent.
The second chapter will review relevant literature on the topics of sovereignty, acts
of sovereignty, and sovereignty in and around the Antarctic continent. The concept
of sovereignty will be dened and broken down into components that will be used
throughout this paper’s research to classify acts of sovereignty in the Antarctic. Finally,
topics relating to sovereignty in the Antarctic like terra nullius and sector theory will
be discussed.
The third chapter will discuss the methodology used in this paper. It will explain
the methods of research and how this research will be analyzed to answer the questions
posed in Chapter 1.
The fourth chapter will present the rst part of this paper’s research and detail the
activities of Norway in the Antarctic from 1892 to 1961. Norway’s acts of discovery and
exploration will be analyzed along with the establishment of the its dependencies and
its part in the creation of the Antarctic Treaty.
The fth chapter will present the second part of this paper’s research and cover the
activities of Norway in the Antarctic from 1961 to 2015. This chapter will detail the
acts of sovereignty that Norway has performed to maintain its legitimacy in Antarctica
after the activation of the Antarctic Treaty.
The sixth chapter will discuss the research from Chapter 5 and compare them to
Norway’s pre-1961 activities from Chapter 4. This analysis will be used to answer the
research questions dened in Chapter 1.
The seventh and nal chapter will answer this paper’s research questions and pro-
vide some nal thoughts about the subject and this study.
1.3 Chapter Summary
This chapter introduced the topic of this paper’s research, the evolution of the acts
of sovereignty from a Antarctic claimant state. A brief overview of topics related to
Antarctica and its political history were examined that sets the stage for the following
chapters. The focus of the research was detailed and Norway was introduced as the
subject of this study due to its unique position in world and Antarctic history compared
to its more powerful peers. Additionally, the research gap that this paper will attempt
to ll is identied and research questions were posed.
Now that the stage as been set, a more thorough investigation of the concept of
sovereignty and its place in the Antarctic can be undertaken.
Chapter 2
National sovereignty is an obligation as well as an entitlement. A government
that will not perform the role of a government forfeits the rights of a
Richard Perle, 2004
This chapter introduces previous literature written about the topic of sovereignty.
This includes theories about the concept of sovereignty itself and how those theories
had been applied throughout the history of colonialism.
First, the concept of sovereignty will be dened using denitions from experts in
the eld. Next, the individual components that determine the sovereignty of a state will
be identied and examined. Finally, the tangential, but relevant, topics of terra nullius
and sector theory will be discussed as both directly relate to the sovereignty of states
in the Antarctic.
2.1 Dening Sovereignty
Sovereignty is dened by the New Oxford American Dictionary an entity having
“supreme power or authority” or “the authority of a state to govern itself or another
state” (Stevenson and Lindberg 2010, 76). This denition is simplistic and does not
dene the scope of sovereignty or who has the ability to attain it. Smedal elaborates in
his denition of the concept:
By sovereignty over a territory is meant the authority of the State to have
control of, or to rule over, the territory and the persons and objects present
there. Within the territory the State exercises its legislative power, its ad-
ministration of justice, and its administrative authority. As a rule it has
also the right to oppose the authority of foreign States on the territory.
The State has to a considerable degree the right to control access to the
territory, and it generally, has the right to reserve to itself and its citizens
the use and exploitation of it. (Smedal 1931, 10)
Smedal also notes that sovereignty is something that can only be exercised by state
entities and not individuals, companies, or other groups (10). Non-state entities that
appear to exercise sovereignty only do so at the discretion of the state. An group
of individuals can, however, form a state by creating a functioning and legitimate
government and then be able to exercise sovereignty.
Thomson breaks the denition of sovereignty down further by dierentiating how
dierent schools of thought see the concept:
For liberal interdependence theorists sovereignty is dened in terms of the
state’s ability to control actors and activities within and across its borders.
For realists, the essence of sovereignty is the state’s ability to make author-
itative decisions—the nal instance, the decision to make war. (Thomson
1995, 213)
She continues by detailing a third concept of sovereignty that focuses on the rela-
tions between states and the relationship between states & society:
The conceptualization of sovereignty I oer here is as an institution which
imparts to the state what I call meta-political authority. That is, with the
institution of sovereignty states are empowered or authorized to decide
what is political in the rst place. With sovereignty, states do not simply
have ultimate authority over things political; they have the authority to
relegate activities, issues, and practices to the economic, social, cultural,
and scientic realms of authority or to the states’ own realm—the political.
To distill the above into a concise denition that takes elements from all the schools
of thought on the topic, Thomson concludes with the follow denition of sovereignty:
“Sovereignty is the recognition by internal and external actors that the state has the
exclusive authority to intervene coercively in activities within its territory,” (219).
2.2 Components of Sovereignty
This section will break down the key components of sovereignty as dened from
theorists in the eld and explore their purpose, historical application, and how they
relate to determining the overall sovereignty of a state. Dierent scholars have dened
many dierent components of sovereignty, some of which are more universally accepted
than others. The components dened in this section will be those that are most relevant
for discussing sovereignty in the Antarctic.
Another factor to note is the importance that scholars place on certain components.
Smedal acknowledges the evolution of the methods of attaining sovereignty during the
age of discovery and maintains that the key to establishing control over territory is an
eective occupation (Smedal 1931, 16). In contrast, Thomson states that the main ele-
ments that determine a state’s sovereignty are authority and coercion (Thomson 1995,
219). She proposes that state authority is the key factor for establishing sovereignty and
coercion is the main component for maintaining and expanding authority.
Regardless of the method of acquiring and maintaining sovereignty, Smedal notes
that “if a State wishes to acquire sovereignty over a territory it cannot evade the obli-
gations involved,” (Smedal 1931, 32). The evolution of these obligations will now be
explored starting from the original arbiter of state sovereignty, the church.
2.2.1 Mandate
For centuries, the papacy was the absolute authority in the western world for de-
termining the sovereignty of territory since it was believed by the west that the planet
was the property of God (Smedal 1931, 13). At the beginning of the age of discovery in
the 1400s, the pope and his declarations of territorial mandates were the only meth-
ods to legitimize overseas territorial acquisitions for Christian Europeans (14). The two
empires most favored by the papacy, Castile (now Spain) and Portugal, benetted from
their association with the church. As a result of this inuence, on May 4th, 1493 the
rst mass territorial claim in the New World was declared on behalf of these two states.
Because of the wide scope of this claim, it was also the rst territorial claim to be made
on the lands of Antarctica, although the continent would not be discovered by humans
for another four centuries (14).
The 1493 Inter caetera papal bull of Alexander VI and later the Treaty of Tordesillas
of 1494 between Castile and Portugal divided the undiscovered territory of the New
World and beyond between the two European powers (Harrisse 1897, 74). A line was
drawn from pole to pole 370 leagues west of the Cape Verde islands1and all territory
to the east of the line was awarded to the Portuguese while the territory to the west of
the line was given to the Castilians (78).
As Butland explains, Castille enforced their territorial mandate to lands discovered
and undiscovered in their region of the New World (Butland 1948, 152). In the mid
1500s, the Spanish government dispatched conquistador Francisco de Villagra to “send
account of the lands which are on the other side of the Strait (of Magellan) and take
possession of them,” (152). The Spanish, along with many other nations of the period,
speculated that a vast new land at the far south of the globe was still yet undiscov-
ered, and some scholars theorized it could be connected to the southern tip of South
America, the island of Tierra del Fuego (152). While it was later found that Tierra del
Fuego marked the end of the American mainland, the Spanish mandate to lands yet
undiscovered to the south stood strong then as it still does now, although in a dierent
form, in the present day.
2.2.2 Discovery
Papal declarations of sovereignty were respected for a time by those outside of the
inuence of the church, but in the sixteenth century other European powers began their
own expeditions into these “claimed” lands (Smedal 1931, 14). The simple act of sailing
into the New World without signicant repercussions deed the blanket sovereignty of
the Catholic nations, and in turn, delegitimized their claims. With the framework of
overseas sovereignty in shambles, a new metric for dening the authority of nations
was needed.
States realized that a more tangible method of establishing a legitimate claim over
territory was needed. Smedel writes that in 1496, King Henry VII commissioned Cabot,
a Venetian explorer, to sail all land that “were unknown to all Christians before this
time,” (14). While this order respected the lands actually discovered by other powers,
including the Castilians and the Portuguese, it ignored the will of the papacy by making
claims on land not discovered by representatives of the church. Therefore, states began
1. Due to the imprecise nature of the league as a unit of measurement, the exact position of the
demarcation line itself was never agreed upon between the two parties. Most depictions of the line have
it intersecting eastern Brazil between 42°W and 46°W (Harrisse 1897, i).
issuing authority to explorers to declare newly discovered land as property of the state
in which they were employed (Smedal 1931, 14). This was the start of the period known
as the age of discovery.
The discovery of new unclaimed lands became the primary method of acquiring
overseas territory from the sixteenth century (14). It was vital that the date of discovery
was publicly known and other powers notied because being rst in a land was vital
to establishing legitimacy as the owner of the territory. The discoverer must also be “a
person authorized by a government to make discoveries” (14).
Many at the time believed that certain acts of appropriation were required to be
performed in order to possess ownership over the land (15). Smedal describes the
accepted acts in order to claim territory:
For instance, the royal ensign was displayed, or a cross, beacon, or other
monument was raised on the shore as a proof of discovery. The ensign
and the monument were proof both of the discovery and of the intention
of the discoverer to acquire sovereignty for his king over the surrounding
areas. It was not demanded that the discoverer had been ashore at the
discovered places. Some States claimed sovereignty over enormous areas,
along the coast of which their ships had sailed, but where their mariners
had not been ashore. (15)
Because of these vague methods of attaining sovereignty, it is dicult to dene the
boundaries of individual claims (15). There are several cases in which states, like the
church, made vast territorial claims without actually discovering or exploring the land.
An example of this is the 1497 claim to the majority of the North American east coast
by England. This method, while imprecise, worked when the number of states exploring
and claiming territory were small and spread out. When the number of states increased,
discovery alone became unsustainable and a better method for attaining sovereignty
was necessary.
2.2.3 Occupation
Jennings describes the concept of occupation as “the appropriation by a State of
a territory which is not at the time subject to the sovereignty of any State,” (Lesaer
2005, 39). It is important to note that the colonial powers did not at the time recognize
the native populations of Africa, the Americas, and Asia to be organized into states
and were therefore open to being occupied under the accepted norms of the time.
Using occupation as a way of amassing territory can be traced back to classical Ro-
man law and was utilized starting from the 5th century for claiming vacant Germanic
land (40-41). Over 10 centuries later, it became the primary method for western powers
of acquiring land outside of Europe. Smedal notes that an “eective and real” occupa-
tion of claimed territory began to be a requirement of gaining sovereignty beginning
in the eighteenth century (Smedal 1931, 16). He quotes from Vattel:
Hence the Law of Nations will only recognize the ownership and sovereignty
of a Nation over unoccupied lands when the Nation is in action occupation
of them...when it forms a settlement upon them...or makes some actual use
of them. (16)
Only a century after Britain made wide territorial claims based on discovery in
North America, Queen Elizabeth I responded to a complaint from Spain with a much
dierent view on attaining sovereignty. She claimed that Spain did not have the right
“to any places other than those they were in actual possession of; for that their hav-
ing touched only here and there upon a coast, and given names to a few rivers and
capes, where such insignicant things as would in no ways entitle them to a propriety
further than in the parts where they actually settled and continued to inhabit,” (Smedal
1931, 16). While this new paradigm was dened in the late 1500s, it was not put into
widespread practice until the 1800s (17).
Smedal gives several examples of states demanding territorial occupation during
disputes in the 1800s (17). In a dispute over Navassa Island between the United States
and Haiti, the US asserted that “the exercise of jurisdiction is one of the highest evi-
dences of sovereignty; the extension of the laws of an empire over a colonial possession
forms one of the chief muniments of the nation’s title to sovereignty over the colony”
(17). In another dispute with Russia over rights in the Arctic, the US stated that “domin-
ion cannot be acquired but by real occupation and possession” (17). The Sulu Islands
that were disputed between Britain, Germany, and Spain were awarded by treaty to
Spain because of their occupation of some of the islands (18).
The gradual rise of occupation as the new baseline for sovereignty was codied at
the 1884 African Conference in Berlin (18-19). The colonial nations that attended the
conference laid out uniform rules for occupation of conquered territory. The delegate
from France was given instructions that outlined their denition of occupation:
[France] marked out appropriation by appointing at every place acquired
by France a government representative...who has had at his disposal a more
or less considerable, armed force... (19)
Having a presence in occupied territory was one step closer to attaining greater
legitimacy. But as the 20th century dawned and modern warfare was born, the rules
were set to evolve again.
2.2.4 Authority
After the start of the First World War, a new convention was written that extended
the language from the 1884 Berlin conference (22). This new language moved to focus
on an occupation stronger than a government representative and a small contingent
of troops. The new convention adds “the obligation to maintain in the regions subject
to their jurisdiction an authority and police forces sucient to ensure protection of
persons and of property and, if necessary, freedom of trade and of transit,” (22-23).
Smedal adds that “display of State authority over a territory is, indeed, not only nec-
essary in order to acquire sovereignty by occupation, but also in order to maintain an
acquired sovereignty,” (25).
Thomson denes authority as the ability “to dene the political, the political being
that which is subject to state coercion” (Thomson 1995, 222). Put another way, a state’s
authority is its ability to create rules, not enforce them (coercion) (223). Therefore, the
ability to delegate what powers are controlled by the state and what powers are given
to non-state actors is the ultimate sign of sovereignty (225).
State authority is achieved not by the strength of the state, but by the legitimacy of
the state in the eyes of others (recognition) (223). If a state lacks recognition, it lacks
authority, and, therefore, it lacks control. Thomson uses the example of African states
that lack the ability to enforce rules within their borders are still sovereign because of
the continued recognition of their authority by other states.
According to Thomson’s view on sovereignty, authority is the “basis of state power
under sovereignty” (Thomson 1995, 225). Other elements including state control, legit-
imacy, recognition, and territoriality are correlated to the state’s ability to make rules.
If this authority is compromised, then all of the other elements of sovereignty are moot.
2.2.5 Coercion
Since the state is the entity that creates the rules of a society, it is often the one that
is charged to enforce them. Coercion, or the ability to control, is one of the primary
functions of the state and is one of the key elements of sovereignty (225). The scope of
this control is limited to the people and resources within the dened boundaries of the
state. The state, by nature, wants to monopolize this control to prevent other entities,
both internal and external, from attempting to circumvent their authority (225-226).
The obvious method of states practicing coercion is through the use of law enforce-
ment like police or military (226). While these methods are still common for policing
criminals and the less privileged classes of society, a more socialized form of coercion
has emerged that attempts to prevent disobedience through increased bureaucracy and
surveillance. Thomson quotes from Nalla and Newman:
...the poor and minorities may be subject to much more personally and
physically intrusive policing by regular police and welfare workers, whereas
the middle classes (in fact, most wage earners) may be subject to much
greater, but less visible, policing by the I.R.S. and credit agencies. (226)
This new style of coercion maintains state control through non-traditional enforce-
ment. Because the state authorizes the outsourcing of coercion, it does not give up
any of its own power and legitimacy. Thomson notes an example from Trojanowicz
& Bucqueroux which examines the 1984 American Trademark and Counterfeit Act, a
law that give signicant police-style power to private businesses including “powers to
protect their property and prots, including their right to conduct independent inves-
tigations, obtain search warrants, seize evidence, arrest suspects, and pursue private
criminal justice prosecutions,” (226). The ultimate goal for a state practicing coercion
is to maintain its own power, and by utilizing non-state actors to achieve this goal, the
state’s burden is decreased while its authority remains intact.
2.2.6 Recognition
It is important to recognize that sovereignty is something that is given to a state by
other states. This is accomplished through mutual recognition of state actors (219). In
the modern state system, each state recognizes each other as equals, with unchallenged
authority and coercion within its own borders. This is in contrast to former state
systems which featured complex dominant and subordinate state relationships.
Thomson asks two important questions regarding state recognition: “whose recog-
nition is required? and what are the criteria for recognition?” (219). First, for true
recognition of a state, a state must be recognized by the majority of other states. Sec-
ond, this recognition is earned when a state has demonstrated the ability to defend its
power and authority against internal and external threats.
While mutual recognition is important to maintain authority, there are present
day examples that prove that it is not a hard requirement for state prosperity and
sovereignty, most notability the government of the Republic of China on the island of
Taiwan (Thomson 1995, 220). Thomson concludes that the power to defend a state’s
sovereignty might be more important than the recognition from its peers.
2.2.7 Territoriality
State sovereignty, in the modern political world, is synonymous with control over
territory (227). This sovereignty extends only to predened geographic borders and
manifests itself as a group of institutions that provide administrative and protective
functions for the people that live within its boundaries.
A simple way of viewing sovereignty is to only focus on the internal or the eects
of sovereignty within a state (227). Since states have no authoritative rights within the
boundaries of another state, a system must be in place for states to be able to legitimize
their sovereignty in the eyes of their peers and dene boundaries so neighboring claims
do not overlap (Wallerstein 2004, 43). This system of recognition requires states to
recognize each other’s sovereignty, respect their mutual boundaries, and not infringe
on the other state’s territorial claim. The more recognition that a state receives from
other states, the more legitimacy it receives on the world stage and, therefore, the more
power it has within its borders to exert sovereignty.
In addition, the people that live within a state must, whether voluntarily or by
force, form some kind of bond with the state in order for the institution to survive.
Viewed from a utilitarian aspect, people contained within its borders are resources that
a state can exploit for its own gain. Thomson wrote: “the essence of the state-building
process has been the state’s drive to penetrate, exploit, and mobilize those resources for
interstate competition and war. One of those resources, of course, is the people who live
within the state’s borders, and part of the state-building process—still incomplete in
most of the world—entails creating a society or nation out of these people,” (Thomson
1995, 227). People, unlike natural resources, can decide to rebel against this practice.
In order to combat this, the state must bargain with groups of people within its society
and provide incentives and rights in exchange for their physical and monetary power.
This relationship is the foundation of state citizenship (227-228).
To summarize, Thomson concludes her views on territoriality: “the territorial di-
mension of sovereignty entails not just the defense of geographic boundaries but tight
linkages between the state and people...all of this suggests that sovereignty is largely
in the eye of the beholders. That is, most states are sovereign because other states
recognize them as such,” (227-228).
2.2.8 Conclusion
This section described seven dierent components that help determine the sovereignty
of a state. Some of these components are obsolete and are no longer useful in the
modern world, but most are still relevant in today’s political landscape. This papers
research will refer back to these components as the acts of sovereignty of Norway in
the Antarctic are detailed.
2.3 Terra Nullius
Figure 2.1: Map of Antarctica showing unclaimed territory as of 2015
Map data from Natural Earth.
As stated above, a state is considered sovereign in a territory in which it has le-
gitimate authority, control, external recognition, and an eective occupation. Before
a state asserts its sovereignty in a discovered land, however, the territory is under the
control of no one. This default, neutral state how the western powers viewed the major-
ity of land outside of Europe. In international law, this condition is called terra nullius
(Borch 2001, 222).
Bulkeley denes the concept of terra nullius as land “without sovereignty” (Bulkeley
2012, 24). Reeves expands this denition as land “not within the lawful jurisdiction
of any other government and not occupied by the citizens of any other government”
(Roosevelt and Reeves 1939, 523).
Smedal questions what land is considered to be terra nullius (Smedal 1931, 24). He
proposes that the territory must fulll two criteria: the land must be unoccupied by a
recognized & legitimate state and the land must be able to be occupied under the law.
The colonizers of past centuries tended to not recognize the sovereignty of the native
population in Africa, the Americas, and Asia which rendered the land which they lived
as terra nullius. Borch quotes from Frost as he describes the three ways European
colonizers acquired land occupied by an existing population:
If the region were not already possessed by a rival, then a state might
acquire it in one of three ways: by persuading the indigenous inhabitants to
submit themselves to its overlordship; by purchasing from those inhabitants
the right to settle part or parts of it by unilateral possession, on the basis
of rst discovery and eect occupation. (Borch 2001, 223)
Even though it lacks a native population, the sovereignty of Antarctic territory and
the application of terra nullius on its land remains a complex issue in international law
(Burton 1979, 462-463). Seven nations invoked terra nullius when they made claims
in the Antarctic in the early twentieth century, but the legitimacy of these claims was
impaired by Article IV of the Antarctic Treaty (Hanessian 1960, 470). According to
Burton, the treaty eectively, although unocially, made the territory of Antarctica
terra communis, or “land of everyone in common” (Burton 1979, 463). Discounting
Article IV, Antarctica still contains the largest amount of terra nullius land on the
planet: the unclaimed sector between the Chilean and New Zealand claims dubbed
Marie Byrd Land (459).
2.4 Sector Theory
An important facet of polar politics and the delineation of Antarctic territorial
claims has its origins in the furthest place on Earth from the southern continent, the
Arctic Ocean. In the 1900s, before the scramble to claim the continent that would begin
in the subsequent decades, the Arctic nations (Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia, and
the United States) were in discussion on how to divide the polar region and its many
islands among themselves. Canada, who claimed numerous islands to the north of its
continental territory through acts of discovery, occupation, and treaty, was concerned
with maintaining its hold on its Arctic lands (Head 1963, 203). In 1907, Canadian
Senator Pascal Poirier proposed a new method of territorial division during a debate
on the Senate oor (203). This proposal, later dubbed sector theory, was described by
...a country whose possession today goes up to the Arctic regions, will have
a right, or should have a right, or has a right to all the lands that are to
be found in the waters between a line extending from its eastern extremity
north, and another line extending from the western extremity north. All
the lands between the two lines up to the north pole should belong and do
belong to the country whose territory abuts up there.. . this partition of the
polar regions seems to me to be the most natural, because it is simply a
geographical one. By that means diculties would be avoided, and there
would be no cause for trouble between interested countries. Every country
bordering on the Arctic regions would simply extend its possessions up to
the north pole (203-204).
In practice, sector theory was only applied once in the Arctic by the Soviet Union
in 1926 (Head 1963, 206). In the Antarctic, however, it became the basis for the
delimitation of most territorial claims on the continent (Wilson 1964, 17). The key
dierence between the sector based claims in the Arctic and the Antarctic, however,
is the lack of substantial subantarctic territory for the majority of the claimants in the
southern hemisphere.
With the exception of Argentina and Chile, whose territory lie near to the Antarctic
Peninsula, the other claimant states only hold scattered collections of island territory
in the subantarctic region to help justify their claims on the Antarctic continent. The
British use their south Atlantic possessions, the Falkland Islands and South Georgia &
the South Sandwich Islands, to legitimize their claim to the British Antarctic Territory
(19). The Kingdom of Norway does the same with Bouvetøya, an island which lies
north of Dronning Maud Land.2While the distance of Australia and New Zealand
from Antarctic is less than the European powers, they also both hold island possessions
near their continental claims (the Australian Heard Island & McDonald Islands and the
New Zealand Subantarctic Islands). The one outlier to this theory is the French, whose
southern Indian Ocean island possessions lie around 5,000 kilometers northwest from
the French continental claim of Adélie Land.
2.5 Chapter Summary
This chapter reviewed literature relating to the evolution of sovereignty theory
and to special topics relevant to sovereignty in the Antarctic. First, the concept of
sovereignty was dened from several dierent perspectives and a concise denition
was presented that represented all schools of thought. Next, state sovereignty was bro-
ken down into dierent components that determine the overall sovereignty of a state.
Each of these components were documented using previous works to provide provide
descriptions and real world examples. Finally, the concept of terra nullius was dened
and the history of sector theory in the Arctic and Antarctic was discussed.
Both this and the previous chapter have laid the groundwork for the research to be
carried out in this paper. The rst chapter explained the state of Antarctic geopolitics
and the goals of this paper while this chapter described how the concept of sovereignty
can be broken down and analyzed in its component parts. The next chapter will
describe the methodology that will be used to carry out the research that will be done
to answer the previous chapter’s research questions.
2. Norway also has a second claim in the Antarctic, Peter I Øy, othe coast of West Antarctica
(Bulkeley 2013, 215).
Chapter 3
Research Methodology
I considered it an imperative necessity that every man should acquaint himself
as far as possible with the work of previous expeditions; this was the only way of
becoming in some measure familiar with the conditions in which we should have
to work...if ample time was thus devoted to the theoretical study of our problem,
the practical preparations were not neglected.
Roald Amundsen, 1913
To answer the research questions outlined in Chapter 1, this paper will need to
examine the Kingdom of Norway’s Antarctic acts of sovereignty from its initial voyage
to the Antarctic in 1892 to the year 2015. Using this data and the overview of prior
research on sovereignty outlined in Chapter 2, this paper seeks to discern if and how
Norway’s activities and attitudes in the Antarctic have changed over time.
This chapter will describe the research methodology used in this paper. First, the
methodological approach and research design of this study will be detailed. Next, the
research method used in the forthcoming chapters will be explained along with the
methods used for data collection. Finally, limitations that the author recognizes about
the study will be listed.
3.1 Methodological Approach
Sovereignty is a concept that is intangible and dicult to quantify. As explained
in chapter 2, sovereignty is determined based on a state’s actions within the relevant
territory. These actions cannot be measured in a way to determine a quantiable
sovereignty but instead must be qualitatively interpreted.
3.2 Research Design
This paper is a qualitative comparative analysis of historical Antarctic acts of
sovereignty by the Kingdom of Norway over its time as an Antarctic power. The
data used for this paper’s research are accounts of events in which Norway asserted
or surrendered power within the greater Antarctic region. These events, or acts of
sovereignty, will then be classied into subgroups that represent the primary com-
ponent of sovereignty that the act represents. These components include discovery,
occupation, authority, coercion, recognition, and territoriality. Each event will also be
analyzed to identify the primary reason it occurred and its benet for Norway (whaling
interests, scientic advancement, expansion of power, etc.).
Acts will fall within two dened time periods which will then be compared. The
rst period is dened as events taking place between the years 1892 (the beginning of
Norwegian activity in the Antarctic) to the signing of the Antarctic Treaty in 1961. These
acts will be examined in Chapter 4. The second period continues from the activation
of the Antarctic Treaty in 1961 to 2015. These acts will be examined in Chapter 5.
Finally, a comparative analysis of the two time periods will occur in Chapter 6 to see if
there is a change in the activities and goals of Norway over time.
3.3 Research Method
In a historical study, the analysis of documents must form a key role in research due
to the lack of other available data or human subjects to interview (Bowen 2009, 29).
Documents are also a reliable way to track change over time (30). Despite their neces-
sity in certain areas of study, Karppinen and Moe state that the use of documents as
a primary research material in social science research is “not especially well explicated
either in textbooks...or in most actual research contributions” and “interviews, ques-
tionnaires and other methods gure centrally and in detail in textbooks and courses
on social-science research methods, but documentary research is usually considered in
only a fragmentary way” (Karppinen and Moe 2012, 179). Bowen explains that many
researchers consider document analysis as a supplementary research method to add
background to their studies (Bowen 2009, 29). However, he also states that document
analysis “has also been used as a stand-alone method.”
3.3.1 Qualitative Document Analysis
The method that will be used for this paper’s research is qualitative document
analysis (QDA). Bowen describes this method:
Document analysis is a systematic procedure for reviewing or evaluating
documents—both printed and electronic (computer-based and Internet-
transmitted) material. Like other analytical methods in qualitative research,
document analysis requires that data be examined and interpreted in order
to elicit meaning, gain understanding, and develop empirical knowledge.
Unlike other forms of social science research, the creation of new data is reliant on
a new interpretation of old data, documents, or other material. This is in contrast to
generating new data from interviews, surveys, or other similar methods. Karppinen
and Moe quote from Jensen who describes data from documents as being “found”
rather than generated by the activities of a researcher (Karppinen and Moe 2012, 181).
An aftereect of data being “found” rather than created is that the bias or interference
of the researcher is removed from the collection of the data itself (182). While there
may be bias written into the document itself, it falls to the researcher to recognize
and interpret that bias much in the same way as contextualizing bias in interviews or
questionnaires. Document analysis, like all other research methods, has its advantages
and disadvantages, but it is invaluable in studies which rely on the interpretation of
historical texts.
Bowen lists some diverse examples of dierent materials used in document anal-
ysis: “advertisements; agendas, attendance registers, and minutes of meetings; man-
uals; background papers; books and brochures; diaries and journals; event programs
(i.e., printed outlines); letters and memoranda; maps and charts; newspapers (clip-
pings/articles); press releases; program proposals, application forms, and summaries;
radio and television program scripts; organisational or institutional reports; survey
data; and various public records,” (Bowen 2009, 27). Bowen also states that previous
studies are also a valuable resource for analysis (28).
The process of QDA “involves skimming (supercial examination), reading (thor-
ough examination), and interpretation” (32). The rst step, skimming, is treated as
a simple “document review” where key sections are noted for later analysis. Many
documents are discarded at this stage due to a lack of useful data to interpret.
The documents that pass the rst stage are then further analyzed to nd and extract
relevant information for the study. The information gathered from the interpretation
of the documents is categorized into groups that will help answer the study’s research
questions (32).
3.3.2 Document Analysis in Practice
In a study about a state’s acts of sovereignty, documentation of the act is a pre-
requisite for the act to have any power, and therefore must be the primary avenue of
research. QDA will allow the researcher to explore records created by explorers, gov-
ernments, and academics to create a timeline of Norway’s acts of sovereignty in the
Antarctic. This will allow for an analysis of Norway’s inuence in the Antarctic over
time and the evolution of its attitude towards its Antarctic dependencies.
The identied acts of sovereignty of Norway in the Antarctic will be documented
in chapters 4 & 5 and cataloged in a table that contains the following data:
Description of the act (“Expedition to the South Pole”, “Discovery and Naming
of Mount Jason”, etc.)
Date of the act
• Component Category (Based on the dened components of sovereignty from
chapter 2)
Location of Act (Coordinates if available)
Document(s) that describe the act
The documented acts will then be analyzed by the researcher in chapter 6 to de-
termine answers to the dened research questions. Trends will be identied that will
show the growth of Norway’s inuence and power on the world stage.
3.4 Data Collection
The data that will be used in this study will be extracted from expeditions records,
legislation, white papers, previous academic studies, and other documents pertaining
to Norway’s interests in the Antarctic.
The type of document that is used to extract data will determine the weight of that
document’s claim. For example, ocial records from Norwegian Antarctic expeditions
will be considered the denitive source for acts of sovereignty in the Antarctic since
they tend to be the original source of publication. These documents, while not written
by government ocials, contain acts of discovery that are done in the name of the king,
which implies at least a partial endorsement from the crown. Other documents from
a government source like legislation, royal decrees, and white papers carry a similar
weight of legitimacy. Previous studies and documents from other sources will be used
when an ocial government source cannot be obtained.
These documents will be collected from a variety of sources. Most expedition
records were published in academic journals and are available today in online databases.
Records of more prominent expeditions, like Amundsen’s journey to the South Pole,
were published as books and many have since lapsed into the public domain. Legisla-
tion and royal decrees are also available online1and in law journals. Other published
academic works (both historical and contemporary) will also be analyzed when other
documentation of an act of sovereignty cannot be sourced.
Since the primary focus of this research is Norway’s actions in the Antarctic, it
can be expected that some of the relevant documents will be available only in the
Norwegian language. In the event that an English translation of a document is not
available, colleagues of the researcher who are uent in the Norwegian language will
provide reliable translations for use in this study.
3.5 Limitations
The researcher identied certain limitations with this study that are described be-
This study’s dataset of Norwegian acts of sovereignty was not comprehensive.
Since this was a historical study that documented the actions of a state over a
long time period and the researcher was limited to study documents available
online or in the university library, compiling an all-inclusive list of Norwegian
acts was not feasible. The researcher cataloged data from available sources and
attempted to achieve a balance of between completeness and practicality.
The research conducted for this study was done primarily using sources written
in the English language. An online search of journal databases was done in the
Norwegian language with the assistance of a native speaker and nothing signif-
icant was found that was not already available in an English language source.
This search cannot be considered comprehensive and the researcher recognizes
that additional data could be available without an equivalent English version.
3.6 Chapter Summary
This chapter described the methodology used in this paper’s research. First, due to
the unquantiable nature of sovereignty, the study was dened as a qualitative analysis
1. The Lovdata Foundation publishes a signicant portion of Norwegian legislation, regulations, and
treaties in an online database. The majority of the text is written in Norwegian, but limited selections
are available translated into English (“Lovdata in English” 2015).
of the evolution of Norway’s actions in the Antarctic. Next, the structure of the research
was described as a comparative analysis of two time periods in Norwegian Antarctic
history, 1892 to 1961 and 1961 to 2015. Norwegian acts of sovereignty in these periods
will be analyzed and compared to see how Norway’s relationship with its Antarctic
territory evolved over time.
The paper’s research method was identied as qualitative document analysis fol-
lowed a brief description of the method and how it will be utilized for this paper’s
research. Then, the methods used for data collection were established. Finally, the
recognized limitations of this study were listed.
The next two chapters contain the research collected for this study. The rst pe-
riod’s research will be featured in Chapter 4 followed by the second period’s research
in Chapter 5. The research will be presented in a descriptive format that highlights the
acts of sovereignty in context within Norwegian Antarctic history.
Chapter 4
Norway in the Antarctic (1892 to 1961)
Thus we plant thee, beloved ag, at the South Pole, and give to the plain on
which it lies the name of King Haakon VII’s Plateau.
Roald Amundsen, December 14th, 1911
This chapter contains the acts of sovereignty that Norway performed in the Antarc-
tic from 1892 to 1961. This is the rst part of this papers research and will be compared
with the second part of the research contained in Chapter 5.
The acts of sovereignty in this period are dominated by Norwegian explorers and
whalers discovering the extent of the Antarctic continent. Major expeditions are con-
tained in individual sections and their accomplishments are detailed. Minor expedi-
tions or expeditions without any relevance to Norwegian sovereignty are excluded from
this chapter but may be logged in this papers appendices. Finally, acts of legislation
and major events in the Antarctic are detailed when relevant.
4.1 Larsen Expedition of 1892-94
For the majority of the nineteenth century, Norway was the junior partner in a
personal union with Sweden. The terms of this union allowed Norway to operate as an
independent state with only foreign policy dictated from Stockholm. This autonomy
allowed Norway the opportunity to conduct expeditions under its own ag and for
the benet of itself. One such expedition set oin 1892 to hunt seals and whales
in the still unexplored North Antarctic (Larsen 1894, 333). By November 17th of the
following year, the Norwegian ship Jason had reached Graham’s Land (the Antarctic
Peninsula). While whaling was their primary aim, exploration and documentation was
also a necessity due to the incomplete maps of the period. Captain Carl Anton Larsen
and his crew discovered, explored, named, and charted several regions, islands, and
other geographical features in following month of the expedition (337, 339-343). An
example of the thorough documentation that Larsen kept can be found in his expedition
journal which was later published by the Royal Geographical Society.
The land which we saw to the W. and S. of us was named King Oscar II.’s
Land. It appeared to be a high land covered with snow and ice, stretching
southwards and northwards, with many high snow-covered peaks in the
interior. Here and there it was free of snow, and showed its grey slopes.
Looking from the sea, it appeared most interesting for scientic explo-
ration, as there were immense glaciers, which reached nearly to the sea,
and I suppose that it would be easy to climb over them, with snow-shoes.
The rst mate and myself walked over towards them. How interesting it
would have been to explore that land! but, as we were not sent out for
scientic exploration, but for whale and seal hunting, we had to resist the
temptation. We gave the name of Mount Jason to a high peak which rose
in the east of that highland; and to the promontory which shoots oin an
eastern direction from Mount Jason, we gave the name of Cape Framnes.
It appeared, in fact, to be the most advanced point of the land which we
saw here. (Larsen 1894, 337)
Besides the features mentioned already, Larsen discovered and named Christensen
Island, Foyn’s Land, the Norway Sound, Robertson Island, the Seal Islands, and Weather
Island on this expedition (339-343). When they were able, Larsen and his crew col-
lected biological and geological specimens from these lands for study in Norway (334).
Norway did not make any territorial claims to the land that they named and docu-
mented, but this expedition solidied their legitimacy as Antarctic explorers.1These
acts of discovery were Norway’s rst acts of sovereignty in the Antarctic.
4.2 Bull Expedition of 1893-95
A second unrelated whaling expedition set ofrom Tønsberg, Norway to South
Antarctica at the same time as the Larsen expedition (Bull 1896, 34). The ship Antarctic
was partially owned by Henryk Bull and he documented the expedition. While failing
to nd the whales that they were searching for, Bull and the crew are credited with
making the rst undisputed landing on the mainland of Antarctica at Cape Adare (181).
He describes the moment:
The sensation of being the rst men who had set foot on the real Antarctic
mainland was both strange and pleasurable, although Mr. Foyn would no
doubt have preferred to exchange this pleasing sensation on our part for
a Right whale even of small dimensions...To commemorate our landing, a
pole was erected, carrying a box, on which was painted the Norwegian
colours, the date, and the vessel’s name. (181, 183)
Bull also named several of the Possession Islands othe Antarctic coast along
with gathering plants and rocks for scientic analysis (228, 231-232). Like the Larsen
expedition, these discoveries where not intended as territorial claims for Norway. The
one key dierence between the acts of discovery of the Bull and Larsen expeditions
were the ceremonial act of raising a Norwegian “ag” on the mainland. This act of
sovereignty is the rst that could be seen as provocative towards other states, even if
it was never intended that way. Nonetheless, the Bull expedition continues the trend
of Norwegian acts of discovery in the region and is an apt precursor to Norway’s most
famous act of sovereignty in Antarctica.
1. The Antarctic Peninsula at the time was de facto territory of the British. It would go on to be
claimed concurrently by Argentina, Chile, and the United Kingdom
4.3 Amundsen Expedition of 1910-12
In 1905, Norway and Sweden peacefully separated and Norway became wholly
independent for the rst time in centuries. The news of this reached explorer Roald
Amundsen in Alaska just after his successful navigation of the Northwest Passage.
Amundsen’s next journey would take him from the Arctic to the Antarctic and would
become Norway’s rst major achievement as an independent nation. He and his crew
set sail on the Fram from Christiania in June 1910 and arrived at the Ross Sea in
South Antarctica in January the next year (Amundsen and Chater 1913a, 92, 169).
The party traveled from the coast towards the south and, like previous expeditions,
named the nameless geographic features they encounter along the way (Amundsen and
Chater 1913b, 37, 53-54, 77, 80, 84, 103). After approximately two months of traveling,
they reached the geographic South Pole. In his account of the expedition, Amundsen
described the moment:
We reckoned now that we were at the Pole...After this we proceeded to the
greatest and most solemn act of the whole journey – the planting of our
ag. Pride and aection shone in the ve pairs of eyes that gazed upon
the ag, as it unfurled itself with a sharp crack, and waved over the Pole.
I had determined that the act of planting it – the historic event – should
be equally divided among us all. It was not for one man to do this; it was
for all who had staked their lives in the struggle, and held together through
thick and thin. This was the only way in which I could show my gratitude
to my comrades in this desolate spot. I could see that they understood
and accepted it in the spirit in which it was oered. Five weather-beaten,
frost-bitten sts they were that grasped the pole, raised the waving ag in
the air, and planted it as the rst at the geographical South Pole. “Thus we
plant thee, beloved ag, at the South Pole, and give to the plain on which it
lies the name of King Haakon VII.’s Plateau.” That moment will certainly
be remembered by all of us who stood there. (121-122)
This ultimate act of discovery would permanently bind Antarctica and Norway. It
took until March for Amundsen and his crew to reach Hobert, Tasmania and to notify
the world about their accomplishment. (121-122). The Norwegian government and
monarchy congratulated the explorers and allowed the name of the king to be used for
naming the land surrounding the pole. At the time, the Norwegians never expressed
that this land was claimed by the state due to the fact that a sustainable occupation
of the territory would be impossible. Decades later in 1931, it was reported in the
press that the Norwegian ambassador to the United States Halvard Bachke rearmed
this notion, “but he considered that these were a valid base for a claim to priority in
the acquisition of territories,” (“Antarctic Territories” 1931, 7). As of 2014, the ocial
government position on Norway’s claim to the South Pole is: “Amundsen’s expedition
discovered large areas that were named and taken into possession on behalf of the King
of Norway. No formal occupation by Norwegian authorities was undertaken, however,”
(Rognhaug 2014, 7).
4.4 Norvegia Expeditions of 1927-31
A series of whaling expeditions using the ship Norvegia were carried out by busi-
nessman Lars Christensen beginning in 1927 (Holtedahl 1931, 402). The rst expedition
set ofor a small island in the South Atlantic Ocean rst seen by a French explorer
Lozier Bouvet in 1739 (403). The Norvegia expedition landed on this island on Decem-
ber 1st, 1927 “and stores were set on shore and a ag-pole bearing the Norwegian ag
was erected,” (404). The event was recorded in the ship’s log:
...the ag was raised and we all gathered beneath, and the captain read
out loud to all who could hear it the occupation act over the Bouvet Island
in the name of His Majesty Haakon VII, King of Norway. It sounded
as follows: “In the presence of the wind, I hereby take Bouvet Island in
possession of His Majesty Haakon the Seventh, King of Norway. I occupy
it as Norway’s rightful territory.” (Horntvedt 1927)
Bouvetøya was formally annexed by royal decree the next month (Rognhaug 2014,
10). On February 27th, the “Law Concerning Bouvet Island” was passed which declared
that “Bouvet Island is placed under Norwegian Sovereignty” and that “Norwegian Com-
mon Law and Penal Law as well as the Norwegian legislation concerning judicial pro-
ceedings apply to Bouvet Island,” (International Law Documents 1948-49 1950, 238).
This is the rst time that Norway asserted legal authority in the Antarctic.
This action by the Norwegian government provoked the British who claimed an
island at a similar position, a place they called Liverpool Island (Day 2013, 209). Later
that year, after Britain failed to provide signicant evidence that Liverpool Island and
Bouvet Island were the same, the British revoked its claim and supported Norwegian
control of the island with the condition that they recognized British sovereignty over
their claimed sectors on the continent (211). Norway accepted this deal and Bouvetøya
became the country’s rst recognized territory outside of Europe.
The following season, the Norvegia set course for another Antarctic island, Peter I
Øy (Holtedahl 1931, 407). This island, rst seen by Russian explorer Fabian Gottlieb
von Bellingshausen in 1821, was the rst land to be discovered south of the Antarctic
Circle (Bulkeley 2013, 213). Bellingshausen named the island but was not able to step
foot on it. Over a century later, on February 2nd, 1929, the crew of the Norvegia
successfully landed on the island and raised the Norwegian ag (Holtedahl 1931, 408).
A supply hut was built, the island was surveyed, and geologic samples were taken. Peter
I Øy was formally annexed by a short royal decree in 1931 (Rognhaug 2014, 9):
We, Haakon, King of Norway, make known: Peter I Island is placed under
Norwegian sovereignty. (International Law Documents 1948-49 1950, 239)
The 1929-1930 season of the Norvegia expedition included airplanes so aerial sur-
veying of the continent could be undertaken. From December 22nd, 1929, aviators
began mapping the unclaimed coastline of Northern Antarctica. As the expedition
considered west, the sections of coast from Enderby Land at the extreme of the east
British sector to Coats Land in the West British sector was mapped and claimed for
Norway. The eastern section was named Dronning Maud Land (Queen Maud Land)
(Holtedahl 1931, 410). The western section was named Kronprinsesse Märtha Kyst
(Princess Martha Coast) (411). The following year, an additional coastal section ad-
jacent to Dronning Maud Land was mapped, claimed, and given the name Prinsesse
Ragnhild Kyst (Princess Ragnhild Coast) (Holtedahl 1931, 412). Captain Riiser-Larsen
wrote in his diary regarding the occasion: “At 9.40 a. m. a couple of minutes after we
had passed the edge of the inland ice I dropped the ag and documents, taking posses-
sion of the land for Norway,” (Isachsen 1932, 85). While these acts can be considered
acts of sovereignty over this sector of the Antarctic, Norway did not annex them at this
4.5 The Dependency Act of 1933
In Norwegian law, a dependency is a piece of territory that is under Norwegian
sovereignty but not part of the “independent, indivisible and inalienable realm” of the
Kingdom of Norway (Norwegian Interests and Policy in the Antarctic 2015, 30). In prin-
ciple, the majority of Norwegian law also applies to dependencies along with special
provisions enacted by the Storting or the King (“Lov om Bouvet-øya, Peter I’s øy og
Dronning Maud Land m.m. (bilandsloven).” 2016). This act cements Norwegian legal
authority outside its traditional borders and allows for coercion of those within the
The rst Norwegian dependency in the Antarctic was created by the 1930 “Law
Concerning Bouvet Island.” Three years later in 1933, this law was amended to elevate
Peter I Øy to dependency status (Norwegian Interests and Policy in the Antarctic 2015,
31). Finally, in 1939, the act was amended again to include Dronning Maud Land.
After 1939, the Dependency Act was amended six additional times to account for
changes made to the international regime in Antarctica like the Antarctic Treaty and
environmental regulations.
4.6 Neuschwabenland & the Annexation of Dronning
Maud Land
Norway’s single interest in holding territory in the Antarctic at this time “was to give
the Norwegian whaling industry in that region points of support and to guard it against
possible encroachment on the part of foreign Powers” (International Law Documents
1948-49 1950, 240). The idea of annexing a portion of the Antarctic continent was
discussed within the Norwegian government but was a low priority due to the warm
relations between Norway and the continent’s primary tenant, the British. Norwegian
whalers were able to utilize the waters in the British claimed sector as well as in the
unclaimed sector in North Antarctica without making a territorial claim.
Although Norway mapped and made symbolic claims to the coast of North Antarc-
tica, it never formally annexed the territory since was deemed unnecessary. This
attitude changed in early 1939 when the Norwegian government became aware of a
German expedition to North Antarctica that was to claim territory for the Reich (Sul-
livan 1957, 157). The German expedition, led by Captain Alfred Ritscher on the ship
Schwabenland, was set to explore territory in North Antarctica already explored by the
Norwegians decades earlier (Geographic Names of Antarctica 1956, 28). While on their
expedition, the Germans dropped swastika markers from the air onto the land they
claimed, raised the Nazi ag near the shore, and proclaimed “This is the outward sign
that we Germans have trod this no-man’s land and claimed it for Greater Germany”
(Wilson 1964, 21). They named this new German colony Neu Schwabenland. The Ger-
man expedition ended in February 1939 and began the journey back to Europe to make
the claim ocial.
Before the Germans could have a chance to make a formal claim, the Norwegian
king issued a proclamation on January 14th, 1939 to annex land on the mainland:
We, Haakon, King of Norway, do hereby proclaim: That part of the main-
land coast in the Antarctic extending from the limits of the Falkland Islands
Dependencies in the west (the boundary of Coats Land) to the limits of the
Australian Antarctic Dependency in the east (45º E. Long.) with the land
lying within this coast and the environing sea, shall be brought under Nor-
wegian sovereignty. (International Law Documents 1948-49 1950, 243)
Following the end of the Second World War, the German claim was deemed invalid
(Norwegian Interests and Policy in the Antarctic 2015, 18).
4.7 Postwar Actions
After the annexation of Dronning Maud Land and the conclusion of the Second
World War, the Antarctic claimant states began to formulate how the continent would
be governed. Propositions of joint sovereignty, UN trusteeship, and forming a condo-
minium were proposed and were rejected due to many claimant states not wanting to
diminish their own sovereignty in the region (Triggs 2011, 41). While Norway was in-
volved with this process due to its status as a claimant state, it was considered a minor
player by the other larger powers like the United States, the United Kingdom, and the
Soviet Union (Hanessian 1960, 440).
4.7.1 Norwegian Involvement in the International Geophysical Year
Eorts to come to an acceptable conclusion to the Antarctica problem stalled
throughout the early 1950s due to the claimant states not wanting to surrender sovereignty
on the continent (Hayton 1960, 353; Hanessian, Frazier, and Neidle 1958, 171-174). A
“ceasere” was proposed to put aside sovereignty concerns for one year and con-
duct cooperative scientic research on the continent in 1957 & 1958. Twelve nations
(Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South
Africa, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States) participated in
this International Geophysical Year and built scientic bases throughout the continent
(Hanessian 1960, 457).
While initially unmotivated to participate due to decreased whaling yields and
therefore decreased interest in the Antarctic, Norway was persuaded by the United
States to build one major base in Dronning Maud Land (Norway Station) for the IGY
(Bones 2007, 201). Norway operated Norway Station from 1956 to 1960. Dronning
Maud Land also hosted national bases from Belgium and Japan (Wilson 1964, 27). Fol-
lowing the end of the IGY, Norway relinquished control of Norway Station to South
Africa and ceased any large scale occupation of its Antarctic territory (Hayton 1960,
4.7.2 Norway and the Antarctic Treaty
Norway’s apathy towards the Antarctic continued following the IGY and throughout
the negotiation of a more permanent solution to Antarctic sovereignty. The framework
provided by the IGY was decided by the Antarctic powers to be extended into a treaty
(Wilson 1964, 28). While scientic cooperation between the parties was welcome and
uncontested, the question of sovereignty was still contentious. Most claimant states
refused to accept a solution that would decrease their sovereignty in Antarctica. New
Zealand and Norway, however, were prepared to renounce their territorial claims on
the continent to provide an example for other claimant states to follow to allow for the
creation of a new governance system (Hanessian 1960, 470). This would prove to be
unnecessary once the nal treaty was written. Article IV of the Antarctic Treaty “froze”
the status quo by stating:
No acts or activities taking place while the present Treaty is in force shall
constitute a basis for asserting, supporting or denying a claim to territorial
sovereignty in Antarctica or create any rights of sovereignty in Antarctica.
No new claim, or enlargement of an existing claim, to territorial sovereignty
in Antarctica shall be asserted while the present Treaty is in force. (Antarctic
Treaty 1959, 74)
Norway signed the Antarctic Treaty on December 1st, 1959 and became one of the
twelve permanent members of the Antarctic Treaty System (84).
4.8 Chapter Summary
Norway’s activities in the Antarctic from 1892 to 1961 were dominated by discov-
ery. Large sections of the Antarctic coast and land were rst explored by Norwegian
explorers. These explorers annexed three dependancies in the region for the crown
which were then recognized or tolerated by the majority of the Antarctic powers of the
time. Finally, during the nal decade of this research period, Norway established its
rst semi-permanent base on the continent.
Norwegian discovery and territorial acquisitions gave the nation a legitimate role in
shaping Antarctic policy in the early twentieth century. In just over fty years, a newly
independent nation grew into a polar superpower and maintained a dominant position
as a claimant state. Norway’s Antarctic peers represented the previous century’s waves
of imperialism from the English, French, and Spanish empires. Among these past
giants, a representative of the modern age thrived, attained equal footing, and created
an frozen empire for itself.
This chapter detailed the rst part of this paper’s research. The following chapter
will contain the second part of research and will discuss Norwegian acts of sovereignty
in the Antarctic from 1961 to 2015. This period will dier from the former due to
a shift in priorities of the Norwegian government. While the methods of creating
and maintaining Norwegian sovereignty will change, Norway’s position as an Antarctic
claimant state will remain and its power in Antarctica will expand.
Chapter 5
Norway in the Antarctic (1961 to 2015)
Antarctica shall be used for peaceful purposes only. There shall be prohibited,
inter alia, any measures of a military nature, such as the establishment of
military bases and fortications, the carrying out of military maneuvers, as well
as the testing of any type of weapons.
Article I.1 of the Antarctic Treaty, 1959
This chapter contains the acts of sovereignty that Norway performed in the Antarc-
tic from 1961 to 2015. This is the second part of this paper’s research and will be
compared with the rst part of the research contained in the previous chapter.
During the second half of the twentieth century, Norway evolved from being apa-
thetic to aggressive in the Antarctic. This chapter begins with a summary of Norway’s
return to Antarctica and how it expresses its territoriality, authority, and coercion in
Dronning Maud Land. Next, Norway’s various roles in the region are identied and
studied. The nation is rst known as a cooperative force in the Antarctic and as an
enforcer of the region’s international regime. Norway’s interest in building research
stations and infrastructure is then detailed. Finally, Norwegian interest in exploiting its
place as a claimant state for commercial and strategic gain is examined.
5.1 Period of Indierence and the Return to Antarctica
After the activation of the Antarctic Treaty in 1961, Norway’s activities in the
Antarctic decreased (Norwegian Interests and Policy in the Antarctic 2015, 20). Nor-
wegian whaling in the Antarctic ceased in 1967 due to overshing (13). In addition,
no Norwegian state sponsored research took place on the continent for over a decade
(20). This was in contrast to the other treaty signatories and claimant states whose
Antarctic programs continued growing including those with bases in Dronning Maud
Land (Belgium, Japan, and the Soviet Union).
Beginning in 1969, a movement from within the Norwegian government started to
return focus to Norway’s Antarctic dependancies (20). In October of that year, a memo
was issued by the Ministry of Industry that recommended that Norway reassert its
sovereignty in the region and construct a permanent base in Dronning Maud Land.
The Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten published the following statement regarding
this change in the government’s position:
For the rst time a Norwegian government has produced something that
could only be termed a declaration of principle regarding what we want and
what we intend to do on a longer-term basis on the only foreign continent
where we claim a right to any territory. (Norwegian Interests and Policy in
the Antarctic 2015, 21)
A second memo was issued four years later in 1973 that again recommended that
Norway push its claims of sovereignty and increase its presence in collaborative Antarc-
tic research (21). This set the stage for Norway’s rst post-treaty government sponsored
research expedition. In 1976, Norway embarked on the rst Norwegian Antarctic Re-
search Expedition (NARE). NARE has continued annually to the present day. In addi-
tion, Norway has participated in joint research expeditions with its Nordic neighbors
Sweden and Finland.
5.2 Development and Administration of the Norwe-
gian Antarctic
5.2.1 Boundary Changes of Dronning Maud Land
When Dronning Maud Land was formally annexed in 1939, the language used in
King Haakon’s royal decree only specied that the area claimed by Norway was the
“...part of the mainland coast in the Antarctic extending from the limits of the Falkland
Islands the limits of the Australian Antarctic Dependency...with the
land lying within this coast and the environing sea,” (International Law Documents
1948-49 1950, 243). In a January 1939 document to the Storting from the Norwegian
Ministry of Foreign Aairs written in preparation for the annexation, it is stated that
“Norway considers that it may with full right claim dominion over that land which until
now has lain unclaimed and which none but Norwegians have explored and mapped”
From 1939 through to the early 21st century, these statements were interpreted to
mean that the Norwegian claim on the continent extended only to the coastal areas of
North Antarctica and not the interior of the Atlantic sector. During this period, the
Norwegian government never denied this interpretation.
In a government white paper published in 2015, the Norwegian government rede-
ned the extent of Dronning Maud Land:
Norwegian authorities have not opposed any interpretation of the Nor-
wegian claim as extending all the way to, and including the pole itself.
(Norwegian Interests and Policy in the Antarctic 2015, 17)
The white paper also included a map of Antarctic claims which depicts Dronning
Maud Land as taking up the whole Atlantic sector (18).
5.2.2 Authority and Coercion in the Antarctic Dependencies
The core of the legal framework that sets Norwegian law in the Antarctic is con-
tained in the Dependancies Act which denes Dronning Maud Land, Peter I Øy, and
Bouvetøya as territory under the control of Norway but not part of the “indivisible
Figure 5.1: Excerpt from a map of Antarctica from the CIA World Factbook (circa 2009)
showing the undened boundaries of Dronning Maud Land (“Perry-Castañeda Library
Map Collection - Polar Regions and Oceans Maps” n.d.)
and inalienable realm” of the Kingdom proper (Norwegian Interests and Policy in the
Antarctic 2015, 30). Despite this distinction, all Norwegian law (criminal, private, and
procedural) applies in the Antarctic dependancies along with additional statutes and
regulations adopted for the region. Examples of such regulation include the codi-
cation of the international obligations of Norway as dened in the Antarctic Treaty
System into Norwegian law, limits on shing in the Antarctic region, and laws for the
environmental protection for the continent (32-33).
In theory, Norwegian law is applied to all persons within Norwegian territory re-
gardless of nationality and more broadly to all Norwegian citizens in the Antarctic (31).
However, due to the remoteness of many national bases and the inability to project
Figure 5.2: Map from Norwegian Interests and Policy in the Antarctic showing Norwegian
government’s redened boundaries of Dronning Maud Land (Norwegian Interests and
Policy in the Antarctic 2015, 18)
Norwegian authority throughout the whole region, the law of other states might be
applied to their own nationals and Norwegians within their parties.
5.3 Norwegian Contemporary Antarctic Strategy
Since Norway’s return to the Antarctic in the 1970s, government policy on the
Antarctic focuses on the nation’s strengths as a neutral power (Norwegian Interests and
Policy in the Antarctic 2015, 22). Through its actions from this period to 2015, Nor-
way can be seen as taking on four distinct roles in the region: cooperator, inspector,
constructor, and exploiter.
5.3.1 Norway: The Cooperator
Despite state cooperation being enshrined as a key tenant of the Antarctic Treaty,
certain Antarctic claimant states in the post-treaty period continued to have hostile or
obstructive relations. The prime examples of this tension are the relations between the
United Kingdom and the two South American claimants, Argentina and Chile (Wilson
1964, 23). In addition, other claimants like Australia & New Zealand and Antarctic
powers like the United States and the Soviet Union had diculty nding common
ground during Antarctic negotiations and treaty development. A neutral third party
was needed on the continent to be a mediator between these states.
Norway’s role in the Antarctic in the pre-treaty world was based in discovery and
resource exploitation for its own benet. In recent decades, this solo focus has evolved
into a role more focused on state cooperation in Antarctica (Norwegian Interests and
Policy in the Antarctic 2015, 22). This new focus coincided with Norway’s return to the
continent in the mid-1970s and was rst introduced by Knut Frydenlund, the Norwegian
Foreign Minister at that time: “It is quite clear that a continuation of the cooperation
now taking place is the best way of securing Norway’s interests in these areas” (22).
This strategy of cooperation manifested itself as Norway becoming a mediator between
rival Antarctic states & other actors and as a key player in developing & expanding the
Antarctic Treaty System. Norway was one of the main forces behind many Antarctic
conventions including the 1972 Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Seals, the
1982 Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, and the
1991 Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty.
5.3.2 Norway: The Inspector
Article VII of the Antarctic Treaty states:
In order to promote the objectives and ensure the observance of the pro-
visions of the present Treaty, each Contracting Party whose representatives
are entitled to participate in the meetings referred to in Article IX of the
Treaty shall have the right to designate observers to carry out any inspec-
tion provided for by the present Article. (Antarctic Treaty 1959, 76)
Norway has exercised its right to inspect the activities of other Antarctic states on
four occasions in 1990, 1996, 2001, and 2009 (Norwegian Interests and Policy in the
Antarctic 2015, 25). Issues like environmental protection and station governance have
been raised by Norway as a result of these inspections and changes were made at these
bases to better align with the standards set by the Antarctic Treaty System.
5.3.3 Norway: The Constructor
Without an eective occupation, the legitimacy of a territorial claim cannot be
sustained. Since the signing of the Antarctic Treaty to the late 1980s, Norway did not
maintain a permanent base in Antarctica. This section will examine the construction
of Norwegian infrastructure on the continent from 1989 to 2015.
Construction of Troll Station
From the restart of Norwegian Antarctic activities to 1989, research teams only had
temporary research bases available to inhabit (21). In addition, the lack of a permanent
settlement in Dronning Maud Land was damaging Norwegian sovereignty in the region.
In order to maintain its status as an Antarctic claimant and to provide better research
facilities, Norway decided to build its rst permanent Antarctic base since the 1950s.
During the 1989-1990 season, this base was constructed 235 kilometers inland and was
called Troll. A second station for eld operations was built in 1993 approximately 90
kilometers away from Troll (Rognhaug 2014, 17). This station was called Tor.
As Norway’s operations in Antarctica increased over the 1990s and early 2000s, it
soon became necessary for Norway to have a permanent year-round station in Antarc-
tica. During the 2004-2005 season, Troll went through a rebuild to improve and expand
the facilities available (Norwegian Interests and Policy in the Antarctic 2015, 21). The new
year-round Troll Station was opened on February 12, 2005 by Queen Sonja. This new
facility allowed Norway to sustain scientic research year-round and maintain a con-
stant presence on the continent (36). The Norwegian government plans, in the future,
to expand the capacity of the station and to “ensure that steps are taken within estab-
lished frameworks, to meet the requests of foreign institutions wishing to establish a
presence at the Troll research station” (37). Additionally, Norway is positioning itself “to
provide eective and safe logistical services to national and international programmes
in the area, and to develop Troll as a research platform and hub in Dronning Maud
Land. In this way Norway can help increase the eciency of Dronning Maud Land’s
combined research infrastructure and reduce its collective environmental eects” (71).
Troll Aireld and DROMLAN
Figure 5.3: Map from Antarctic Logistics Centre International showing DROMLAN net-
work (“Guidelines for ALCI Passengers” 2014, 1)
Troll Aireld opened with the upgraded Troll Station on February 12, 2005 (21).
This aireld gives Norway and other states operating in Dronning Maud Land better
and safer logistical access to the region (Norwegian Interests and Policy in the Antarctic
2015, 68). It can also provide transport to eld stations on Bouvetøya. The building
and operation of this Antarctic transport hub is a key part of Norway’s strategy of
being a major cooperative player in the region and is a rst step to building a larger
transport infrastructure in Norwegian Antarctica.
In 2002, states with research bases in Dronning Maud Land (Belgium, Finland,
Germany, India, Japan, The Netherlands, Norway, Russia, South Africa, Sweden and
the United Kingdom) created the Dronning Maud Land Air Network (DROMLAN) to
create a single entity to provide air logistics to the region (Roldan 2011, 7). The network
operates ights from Cape Town, South Africa to Norway’s Troll Aireld through Rus-
sia’s Novolazarevskaya Station near the coast of Dronning Maud Land (Thiede 2011,
5.3.4 Norway: The Exploiter
As discussed in the previous chapter, Norway’s initial motivation for its Antarctic
exploration in the early twentieth century was for shing and whaling. While Norwe-
gian whaling ceased in the 1960s, the history of Norwegian exploitation of Antarctica
carries on to the present day. However, instead of exploiting the continent’s natural re-
sources, it is exploiting the continent’s location on the planet for monetary and military
Construction of TrollSat
When Troll Station was upgraded to be a year-round station in 2005, a satellite
communications array was constructed adjacent to the base (Norwegian Interests and
Policy in the Antarctic 2015, 36). According to a government white paper, this array,
called TrollSat, “downlinks satellite data on weather and climate, space weather, ice
conditions and the environment” (36). It also operates as a station for the European
Union’s satellite navigation system Galileo.
TrollSat opened in 2008 and is a commercial venture operated by Kongsberg Satel-
lite Services (KSAT), a company owned by Kongsberg Gruppen and the Norwegian
Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Fisheries (63). KSAT operates a sister station to Troll-
Sat in the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago in the Arctic (SvalSat). These two stations
allow satellites in a polar orbit to have more continuous ground transmission access.
Norwegian Militarization of Antarctica
Article I of the Antarctic Treaty forbids any kind of military use of the continent
(Antarctic Treaty 1959, 72). This includes a prohibition of any kind of data downlinked
to an Antarctic station that can be used for military purposes. In addition, Article IX of
the 1920 Svalbard Treaty contains a similar provision in which “Norway undertakes not
to create nor to allow the establishment of any naval base in the territories specied in
Article 1 and not to construct any fortication in the said territories, which may never
be used for warlike purposes” (Svalbard Treaty 1920).
Norwegian investigative journalist Bard Wormdal reported in 2010 that weather data
downloaded to SvalSat during the 2003 invasion of Iraq was used to aid US military
troop movements in the Middle East (Wormdal 2012, 20-24). Frank Slijper, a Dutch
researcher on military use of space, is quoted saying that, “I am certain that Svalbard’s
signicance for the U.S. invasion in Iraq is a clear breach of the Svalbard Treaty,” (Wor-
mdal 2012, 22). Wormdal asserts that similar military use of TrollSat has occurred by
military and intelligence services. Companies that operate Earth observation satellites
that have been tied to intelligent gathering have contracts with KSAT and include the
satellites Geoeye-1, Geoeye-2, Tanden-X, TerraSar-X, WorldView-1, WorldView-2, and
WorldView-3 (142-143).
During the process of Wormdal’s investigation, it becomes apparent that no regula-
tory process exists to monitor satellite communications in Antarctica. He explains:
It’s actually not necessary to have a permit in order to download data in
the Antarctic. The reason for this is that no dedicated legislation or rules
have been prepared for satellite activities in the Antarctic to accommodate
the Antarctic Treaty, as was the case with satellite-related activities on Sval-
bard to accommodate the Svalbard Treaty. Even today no such regulations
have been penned for the Antarctic, and neither have the regulations for
Svalbard been amended to also encompass the Antarctic (136).
In 2015, the Norwegian government issued the following statement regarding regu-
lation of satellite activities in the Antarctic:
TrollSat’s services are consistent with the scope of activity and duties out-
lined in the Antarctic Treaty. In contrast to similar activities at Svalbard,
the satellite downlink services at Troll have not to date been the subject
of special national regulations; see Norway’s regulations concerning the
establishment, operation and use of satellite ground stations, which are
primarily designed to safeguard ground-station activities at Svalbard. The
ground-station regulations are being revised, and separate regulations for
ground stations in Antarctica are currently being drafted (63).
5.4 Chapter Summary
Norway’s activities in the Antarctic from 1961 to 2015 were inconsistent over time.
The state spent the 1960s neglecting its sovereignty in the region, but rekindled its in-
terest in the 1970s. Norway again became an active player in the Antarctic by exercising
its rights as a treaty signatory and became a major collaborator in science, research,
and administration. The activities in the nal decade of the twentieth century recalled
the Norway of old as the nation began constructing massive infrastructure projects
in Dronning Maud Land and utilizing its place as a claimant state for monetary and
strategic gain.
This chapter detailed the second part of this paper’s research. The following chap-
ter will analyze the research contained in Chapters 4 and 5 in order to answer the
research questions posed in Chapter 1. Norway’s role throughout Antarctic history will
be examined to nd changes over time and Norway’s relationship with its Antarctic
territories will be investigated.
Chapter 6
Research Analysis
This chapter analyzes the research from the previous two chapters to form conclu-
sions that will help answer the research questions posed in Chapter 1. Various topics
will be addressed using the components of sovereignty dened in Chapter 2 as a orga-
nizational framework. The analysis in this chapter will be used to answer this paper’s
research questions in Chapter 7.
6.1 Discovery
This section will discuss the extensive acts of discovery carried out by Norway in
the Antarctic and their eventual decline as the region was more thoroughly explored.
6.1.1 Period of Antarctic Discovery
The rst half century of Norwegian activities in the Antarctic were dominated by
acts of discovery by explorers, whalers, and businessmen. Over several decades starting
in 1892, Norway discovered, named, and mapped over one hundred distinct geographic
features in Antarctica and its surrounding sea. The state’s motivation for its Antarctic
activities was not expansion, imperialism, or power. Instead, Norway was concerned
with the exploitation of the area’s abundant marine resources. It is only an aftereect
that Norway’s extensive acts of discovery made it one of the premier explorers of the
region and later earned the nation extensive soft power in the Antarctic.
Norwegian explorers mapped the majority of the coast of North Antarctica along
with several other areas around the continent. Roald Amundsen and his expedition
also explored the Antarctic interior during their expedition to the South Pole. Up until
1939, Norway had little reason for making any formal claim to this territory due to
cordial and cooperative relations with the continent’s other primary European tenants,
Great Britain and the Commonwealth nations of Australia and New Zealand. Only
when the Antarctic shing industry was threatened by possible German expansion in
North Antarctica did Norway formalize their annexation of Dronning Maud Land.
6.1.2 Decline of Norwegian Discovery
By the 1940s, the majority of the continent and the Southern Ocean had been
charted and mapped which led to the drop of Norwegian acts of discovery. This, along
with the decline of the Norwegian shing industry in the region, signaled the beginning
of the period of inactivity in the region that lasted throughout the 1960s and into the
National acts of discovery in that age were perfect tools for the international pro-
motion of a state and the fostering of domestic patriotism among its citizens. Without
this catalyst and decreasing business opportunities in the region, the Norwegian gov-
ernment and its citizens fell into a state of apathy regarding Antarctic issues that lasted
for decades.
6.2 Territoriality
This section will focus on the territorial acquisitions that Norway made in Antarc-
tica with a specic focus on Dronning Maud Land and its vaguely dened extent.
6.2.1 Dronning Maud Land’s Ambiguous Boundaries
It is of interest that the King’s 1939 proclamation annexing Dronning Maud Land
only mentioned claiming “part of the mainland coast in the Antarctic” (International
Law Documents 1948-49 1950, 243). This is contrast to the actions of all other Antarctic
sector claims which dene the complete boundaries of the territory, both latitude and
longitude, explicitly. For example, the British dened their territorial claim in West
Antarctica, then called the Dependencies of the Colony of the Falkland Islands, in this
...Our said Colony shall be deemed to include and to have included all is-
lands and territories whatsoever between the 20th degree of West longitude
and the 50th degree of West longitude which are situated south of the 50th
parallel of the South latitude; and all islands and territories whatsoever
between the 50th degree of West longitude and the 80th degree of West
longitude which are situated south of the 58th parallel of South latitude.
(British and Foreign State Papers, 1917-18 1921, 16-17)
The lack of north and south bounds dened for Dronning Maud Land made the ex-
tent of the Norwegian claim ambiguous, a deliberate act by the Norwegian government
of the time. The reasons for this decision have history going to the very beginning of
the modern Norwegian state and its position as an Arctic power.
6.2.2 Norwegian Rejection of Sector Theory
The deliberate choice of words in King Haakon’s proclamation reects Norway’s
long documented rejection of the concept of sector theory in both the Arctic and the
Antarctic. Prominent Norwegian jurist, Gustav Smedal, wrote of sector theory:
The parties on whom the greatest wrong would be inicted by the sec-
tor principle are the States that are not bounded by the Arctic Sea. Any
State whatsoever may, from scientic or economic reasons, be interested in
having the sovereignty over an Arctic land, and it is quite illegitimate to
exclude such a State from obtaining this on the pretense that its territory
is not lying suciently far to the north. Lakhtine objects to this view on
the ground that the interests of these States in the Arctic can only be of
an “imperialist character”, and that the interests for this reason “cannot be
recognized as being reasonable”. However, it cannot in any way be admit-
ted that a sector State, in looking after its economic and political interests
in the Arctic, is performing an act of a more elevated or ideal character
than any other State does in looking after its interests...The sector principle
is not a legal principle having a title in the law of nations. This is partly
admitted by those who uphold it. Nor should the principle be embodied in
international law, for one reason because it aims at a monopoly which will
doubtless delay, and partly prevent, an exploitation of the polar regions.
(Smedal 1931, 62-64).
The Norwegian state echoed Smedal’s views in diplomatic communications. In a
1930 dispute over the ownership of the Sverdrup Islands with Britain (via Canada), a
note was sent to the Canadian government surrendering sovereignty that stated that
they were “anxious to emphasize that their recognizance of the sovereignty of His Bri-
tannic Majesty over these islands is in no way based on any sanction whatever of what
is named ‘the sector principle”’ (Head 1963, 213). Many documents from both academic
and government sources written about the annexation of Dronning Maud Land from
1939 to the present day also note Norway’s rejection of sector theory. A memo from the
Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Aairs writes that Norway will only claim sovereignty
“over that land which until now has lain unclaimed and which none but Norwegians
have mapped and claimed” (International Law Documents 1948-49 1950, 241). This def-
inition of Norwegian sovereignty can then only apply to the unclaimed coastal lands
of North Antarctica that were mapped and surveyed by Norwegian explorers over the
previous decade and not the unexplored interior of the continent. All other land the
Norwegians surveyed in other parts of Antarctica had already been claimed by that
6.2.3 Norwegian Territorial Expansion in the Antarctic
The territorial status quo set in 1939 lasted unquestioned for over 70 years. As
shown in the previous chapter, most maps of the territorial claims in the Antarctic
show Dronning Maud Land not as a sector like all other claims, but instead as a slice
of land along the northern Antarctic coast with unclear north and south boundaries.
The Norwegian government made no eort to clarify the ambiguity of the extent of
their claim until a white paper was published in 2015. In this paper, it states that:
...the purpose of the annexation was to establish possession of ‘that land
which until now has been without rule and which no one other than Nor-
wegians has studied and mapped’. On this basis, Norwegian authorities
have not opposed any interpretation of the Norwegian claim as extending
all the way to, and including the pole itself. (Norwegian Interests and Policy
in the Antarctic 2015, 17)
Seventy-six years after the annexation of the coastline of North Antarctica, Norway
suggested that it could expand its claim to the entirety of the Atlantic sector. While
this expansionism will likely be regarded as a noncontroversial action by neighboring
claimants, it can be interpreted as a direct violation of Article IV of the Antarctic
Treaty which states: “No new claim, or enlargement of an existing claim, to territorial
sovereignty in Antarctica shall be asserted while the present Treaty is in force” (Antarctic
Treaty 1959, 74). This is one of the recent actions that demonstrates Norway’s new
imperialistic tendencies in the Antarctic.
6.3 Recognition
When Norway began its Antarctic exploration, it was a newly independent state
with little clout on the international political stage. Compared to the other Antarctic
powers of the time like the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Soviet Union,
Norway was insignicant. But, unlike those superpowers, Norway had a history of
exploration in hostile polar conditions and very little to loose by taking risks to nd
valuable shing grounds in the south.
By being a nonthreatening and cooperative state with other Antarctic powers, Nor-
way strengthened its status as a claimant state. First, it secured a strong collaborative
relationship with the United Kingdom and Argentina which allowed Norway to setup
whaling stations on British/Argentine South Georgia. The UK also wanted Norway to
claim the empty northern sector of the continent to prevent a hostile third party from
becoming a neighboring presence for the British (Barrett 2009, 366). Therefore, when
Norway annexed the coastal Atlantic region in 1939, all of the European powers on
the continent welcomed the claim and ocially recognized its legitimacy as a player
in Antarctica (Shusterich 1984, 804). This act solidied Norway’s place as an Antarctic
power to the present day.
Norway reciprocated the territorial recognition of the other claimant states, creat-
ing an unbroken European zone stretching from the undisputed sections of the British
Antarctic Territory east through Dronning Maud Land, the Australian Antarctic Ter-
ritory, France’s Terre Adélie, and New Zealand’s Ross Dependency (the remaining two
claimants, Argentina & Chile, only recognize each other) (804). The creation of this
European zone, much like the Antarctic Treaty that followed two decades later, al-
lowed an understanding to form between the states that permitted unrestricted access
to other claimed lands while still respecting national sovereignty. This framework was
illustrated in a 1939 memo from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Aairs:
Norway for her part will not claim any right to exclude other nations from
the waters over which she might thus have dominion, or prevent them in any
way from carrying whaling operations there. (International Law Documents
1948-49 1950, 242)
This agreement would evolve into Articles IV and VII of the Antarctic Treaty.
6.4 Occupation
Norway’s permanent occupation of its Antarctic territory began much later than
that of other claimant states and superpowers. With the exception of a brief occu-
pation during the International Geophysical Year in 1957 & 1958, Norway only began
maintaining a permanent presence on the continent from the 1990s when the rst it-
eration of Troll Station was constructed. All non-IGY expeditions before Troll utilized
temporary camps or relied on facilities from other states.
Since the construction of Troll, Norway has maintain a consistent and ever expand-
ing presence in Antarctica. Troll station has seen signicant upgrades over the past
decades and the construction of TrollSat and Troll Aireld facilities added signicant
communication and transportation infrastructure capabilities to the base.
6.5 Authority and Coercion
From the beginning of its Antarctic expansion in the early twentieth century, Nor-
way put establishing a legal regime of authority and control in its overseas territories
as a top government priority. One of the rst examples of this legal authority is from
the 1928 royal proclamation annexing Bouvetøya: “...That the Ministry of Justice be
authorized to issue regulations regarding the police authority on the Island” (Interna-
tional Law Documents 1948-49 1950, 238). Norway’s legal authority on the island was
formalized in law two years later: “Norwegian Common Law and Penal Law as well
as the Norwegian legislation concerning judicial proceedings apply to Bouvet Island.
The King decides to what extent other laws shall be applied. The King may amend
such laws as well as the legislation concerning judicial proceedings, when the local
conditions demand amendments” (238). Finally, a memorandum from the Norwegian
Ministry of Foreign Aairs from 1939 regarding the annexation of Dronning Maud
Land recommended “that the Ministry of Justice be empowered to draw up regulations
for the exercise of police authority within this region.” (242). These separate claims of
legal authority were eventually consolidated into the Dependency Act.
6.5.1 The Dependency Act
Over time, the Dependency Act has been amended to include additional powers
that the Norwegian government holds over its claims in the Antarctic (“Lov om Bouvet-
øya, Peter I’s øy og Dronning Maud Land m.m. (bilandsloven).” 2016). First, it states
that all land aected by the act (Bouvetøya, Peter I Øy, and Dronning Maud Land)
is owned solely by the state. In addition, sections of the Antarctic Treaty along with
other international environmental regulations have been codied into this law. One
example is the clause which forbids nuclear testing and the dumping of radioactive
waste in Norwegian dependancies. This complies with Article V of the Antarctic Treaty.
Another clause permits the Norwegian government the right to inspect all persons,
facilities, and vessels in and around its territories. This complies with Article VII of the
Antarctic Treaty. Finally, the act states that any violation shall be punishable by nes
and/or one year of imprisonment.
6.5.2 Military Use of Antarctica
Bard Wormdal’s reporting of the military use of KSATs facilities in Svalbard and
the possible use of TrollSat in Antarctica for the same purposes puts Norway’s posi-
tion as a neutral claimant state in jeopardy. If evidence is found which links TrollSat
data transmissions to military operations, this would be a violation of Article I of the
Antarctic Treaty which states: Antarctica shall be used for peaceful purposes only.
There shall be prohibited, inter alia, any measures of a military nature, such as the es-
tablishment of military bases and fortications, the carrying out of military maneuvers,
as well as the testing of any type of weapons.” Norway asserts that “TrollSat’s services
are consistent with the scope of activity and duties outlined in the Antarctic Treaty”
(Norwegian Interests and Policy in the Antarctic 2015, 63).
6.6 Chapter Summary
Norway is a unique subject to study as a Antarctic claimant state since its history
in Antarctica is just as long as its history as a modern independent state. The nation’s
activities in the Antarctic correlate with the actions of a nation trying to make a place
for itself on the world stage. Acts of discovery early in the nation’s history establish the
new nation as a rst class power. Acts of occupation and territoriality project power
over Antarctic lands and makes Norway an true imperial power. Acts of recognition
from other nations give legitimacy to the Norway’s new position in the world. Finally,
acts of authority and coercion establish a framework of governance and control outside
its traditional borders.
While Norway asserted control over sections of the Antarctic, it also served as a
neutral third party because of its friendly relations with its claimant and signatory
peers. This is another unique aspect of Norway’s Antarctic rise to power. It maintained
close relations with the United Kingdom and its associated states while not conicting
with the Latin American claimants. In the present day, Norway’s Dronning Maud Land
is one of the most attractive sectors to build a national research base due to its location
and infrastructure.
Norway may want to be seen as neutral, but it has also made aggressive eorts to
maintain and increase its power in the southern continent. The Norwegian govern-
ment’s suggestion that it should annex the full Atlantic sector is the most controversial
conclusion published in the 2015 government white paper. While it might seem in-
signicant, it is a direct violation of the Antarctic Treaty, and such open dissension
among the claimant states could lead to the dissolution of the current treaty regime.
The nation is also active in commercializing its Antarctic territory. The construc-
tion and operation of TrollSat is not a problem itself. However, the use of the data
collected by these satellites could be. The use of Antarctica for military activities is
strictly prohibited. The misuse of data for military purposes at the satellite array in
Svalbard places great concern that TrollSat, which is operated by the same company,
is also being used for the same illegal purposes. This, like the expansion of Dronning
Maud Land, unnecessarily destabilizes the Antarctic status quo.
This chapter combines the research collected in Chapters 4 & 5 and forms conclu-
sions that will answer the research questions posed in Chapter 1. These questions will
be answered in the following chapter. The Norway that explored and conquered the
Antarctic in the early 20th century is much dierent from the modern day Norway in
the post-treaty world. The dierence in acts and attitude reect Norway nding its
place in the world and exploiting its territorial gains to augment its power. The polar
empire that Norway built over the 20th century in both the Arctic and the Antarctic is
unique in the world and only now is it being utilized at its fullest for the mother state.
Chapter 7
This chapter concludes the paper by answering the research questions posed in
Chapter 1. The answers to each research question will be derived from the research
and analysis detailed in the previous three chapters. Following the answers to the
research questions, the paper will be concluded with a short summary of the research
as a whole.
7.1 What methods of asserting sovereignty has Norway
practiced in the Antarctic?
Figure 7.1: Chart showing the total signicant acts of Norwegian sovereignty in the
Antarctic as recorded by this paper organized by type
Norway made, throughout its century long history in the Antarctic, numerous acts
of sovereignty for the purpose of establishing its legitimacy in the region. In total, due
to the nation’s extensive exploration in the early days of the “Scramble for Antarctica”,
the number of acts of discovery vastly outnumber those of other types. Short acts of
occupation by explorers in the early 20th century along with more permanent occu-
pation beginning in the late 20th century contribute to make acts of occupation the
second most common type. Finally, the acts of all other types (territoriality, recognition,
authority, and coercion) are minimal and overall insignicant.
It should be noted that certain types of sovereignty are dicult to accurately catalog
due to insucient or unavailable documentation.
7.2 How have Norway’s acts of sovereignty in the Antarc-
tic evolved over time?
Figure 7.2: Chart showing the percentage of acts of Norwegian sovereignty in the
Antarctic as recorded by this paper organized by type per year
There are two distinct periods of Norwegian inuence in the Antarctic, both of
which are dominated by two dierent types of sovereignty acts. The rst period, from
the 1890s to the early 1940s, was the period of Norwegian discovery. Norway’s activities
in the Antarctic were focused on the exploration of the region for the purposes of
expanding its shing industry. By the 1950s and 1960s, as the region became fully
explored and the shing industry became less protable, the number of Norway’s total
acts of sovereignty decreased to near zero.
Norway was mostly dormant in the Antarctic from the 1960s to the late 1980s.
From the end of this dormant period to the present day, Norway’s acts of sovereignty
were dominated by acts of occupation due to the construction of permanent research
stations and infrastructure in Dronning Maud Land.
7.3 In what ways has Norway’s attitude towards Antarc-
tica and its Antarctic dependencies changed over
In just over one century, Norway grew from independence to be the only nation on
the planet to hold a global, polar empire. This unique situation was achieved not by
war or persecution but instead by exploration and diplomacy. Despite its growth, the
state was not always consistently supportive of its world empire. Three distinct periods
have elapsed from the beginning of the Norwegian exhibitions in the late 1800s to 2015.
The rst period lasted from the late 1980s to the mid 1960s. During this time,
Norway committed the majority of its acts of sovereignty in the region. It was during
this period that all of the nation’s territorial acquisitions occurred and the legal regime
of the continent was created. Norway established itself as a world power and led a
highly protable shing industry.
The second period lasted from the mid 1960s throughout the 1970s. This period
was Norway’s time of inactivity in Antarctica due to the collapse of the shing industry
and apathy to committing to constructing permanent occupation of Dronning Maud
The third period began in the late 1970s and continues through 2015. At the begin-
ning of this period, Norway began consistent research expeditions to Antarctica. It also
constructed its rst permanent base in the early 1990s. It reasserted its place as an ac-
tive claimant state through occupation, infrastructure projects, and more controversial,
possibly treaty infringing actions.
7.4 Chapter Summary
The political situation in Antarctica will only grow in importance in the coming
decades due to increasing pressure for oil and mineral exploitation on the continent.
The status quo established by the Antarctic Treaty was always meant to be a short
term solution to the Antarctic problem. In the coming decades, this solution will need
to be revisited and a more long term agreement will need to be created. In order to
nd a mutually agreeable compromise that will retain the neutrality and environmental
integrity of Antarctica, one must understand the history of political power on the
The purpose of this paper was to examine a case of one Antarctic claimant and
its methods of gaining and maintaining power without conict. Further examinations
of other claimant states would be benecial to creating a new lasting agreement. In
conclusion, this study shows how a nation accumulates territory, negotiating power
and international legitimacy without resorting to acts of war or the subjugation of a
people, but instead by using unthreatening acts of sovereignty, inclusive international
cooperation, and soft power to further its interests.
Appendix A
Table of Norwegian Acts of
Sovereignty in the Antarctic 1892-1961
The table below contains the acts of sovereignty collected for the research presented
in Chapter 4 sorted by date.
Description Date Component Location Source(s)
Naming of ‘Christensen
1893 Discovery 65°06’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 84;
Larsen 1894,
Naming of ‘Foyn Coast’ 1893 Discovery 66°44’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 132;
Larsen 1894,
Naming of ‘Cape
1893 Discovery 65°57’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 132-
133; Larsen 1894,
Naming of ‘Oscar II
1893 Discovery 66°44’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 233;
Larsen 1894,
Naming of ‘Castor
1893 Discovery 65°10’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 81)
Naming of ‘Jason Island’ 1893 Discovery 66°10’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 171;
Larsen 1894,
Description Date Component Location Source(s)
Naming of ‘Larsen
1893 Discovery 64°58’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 188)
Naming of ‘Lindenberg
1893 Discovery 64°55’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 193;
Larsen 1894,
Naming of ‘Oceana
1893 Discovery 65°08’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 231)
Naming of ‘Robertson
1893 Discovery 65°10’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 261;
Larsen 1894,
Naming of ‘Seal
1893 Discovery 65°03’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 275;
Larsen 1894,
Naming of ‘Hertha
1894 Discovery 65°10’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 158)
Flag Raising at ‘Cape
1895 Discovery 71°17’S
(Bull 1896, 180-
Occupation of ‘Cape
1895 Occupation 71°17’S
Naming of ‘Enten Bay’ 1907 Discovery 54°13’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 121)
Naming of ‘Axel Heiberg
1911 Discovery 85°25’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 50;
Amundsen and
Chater 1913b, 47)
Naming of ’Mount Don
Pedro Christophersen
1911 Discovery 85°35’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 109;
Amundsen and
Chater 1913b, 30)
Naming of ’Mount
Fridtjof Nansen’
1911 Discovery 85°28’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 134;
Amundsen and
Chater 1913b, 30)
Description Date Component Location Source(s)
Naming of ’Mount Gjert-
1911 Discovery 86°40’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 140)
Naming of ’Prince Olav
1911 Discovery 85°05’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 249;
Amundsen and
Chater 1913b, 31)
Naming of ’Queen Maud
1911 Discovery 84°S 174°E (Geographic
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 252)
Naming of ‘Thorvald
Nilsen Mountains’
1911 Discovery 86°20’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 301;
Amundsen and
Chater 1913b,
Naming of ‘Mount Betty’ 1911 Discovery 85°13’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 59;
Amundsen and
Chater 1913b, 37)
Naming of ’Mount Bjaa-
1911 Discovery 86°33’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 62;
Amundsen and
Chater 1913b,
Naming of ‘Devils
1911 Discovery 86°30’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 106;
Amundsen and
Chater 1913b, 84)
Naming of ’Mount Engel-
1911 Discovery 85°35’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 121;
Amundsen and
Chater 1913b, 58)
Naming of ’Mount Has-
1911 Discovery 86°30’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 153;
Amundsen and
Chater 1913b,
Description Date Component Location Source(s)
Naming of ’Mount
Helmer Hanssen’
1911 Discovery 86°05’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 156;
Amundsen and
Chater 1913b,
Naming of ’Mount Hjal-
mar Johansen’
1911 Discovery 86°43’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 159)
Naming of ‘Liv Glacier’ 1911 Discovery 84°55’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 195;
Amundsen and
Chater 1913b, 30)
Naming of ’Mount Pre-
1911 Discovery 86°35’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 248)
Naming of ’Mount Ruth
1911 Discovery 85°40’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 268;
Amundsen and
Chater 1913b, 30)
Naming of ’Mount Wist-
1911 Discovery 86°28’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 329;
Amundsen and
Chater 1913b,
Naming of ‘Helland-
Hansen Shoulder’
1911 Discovery 86°12’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 156;
Amundsen and
Chater 1913b, 77)
Naming of ‘Mohn Basin’ 1911 Discovery 86°30’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 215)
Naming of ’Mount
1911 Discovery 85°42’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 320;
Amundsen and
Chater 1913b, 30)
Occupation of ‘South
1911 Occupation 90°S (Amundsen and
Chater 1913b,
Charting of ‘Cape Barlas’ 1912 Discovery 60°44’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 53)
Description Date Component Location Source(s)
Charting of ‘Borge Bay’ 1912 Discovery 60°43’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 66)
Naming of ‘Christoersen
1912 Discovery 60°45’S
Charting of ‘The Divide’ 1912 Discovery 60°45’S
Charting of ‘Falkland
1912 Discovery 60°44’S
Charting and Naming of
‘Flensing Islets’
1912 Discovery 60°42’S
Charting of ‘Gerd Islet’ 1912 Discovery 60°40’S
Naming of ‘King Haakon
1912 Discovery 54°11’S
Naming of ’Mount Wil-
helm Christophersen’
1912 Discovery 85°30’S
Charting of ‘Tønsberg
1913 Discovery 60º32’S
Naming of ‘Queen Maud
1922 Discovery 54°14’S
Charting of ’Cape Eva’ 1927 Discovery 68°42’S
Naming of ’Cape Ingrid’ 1927 Discovery 68°49’S
Naming of ‘Ranvika 1927 Discovery 68°46’S
Naming of ‘Tofe Glacier’ 1927 Discovery 68°51’S
Naming of ‘Tvistein Pil-
1927 Discovery 68°42’S
Naming of ‘Cecil Cave’ 1927 Discovery 68°49’S
Naming of ‘Lars Chris-
tensen Peak’
1927 Discovery 68°49’S
Annexation of ‘Bou-
1927 Territoriality 54°25’S
(Holtedahl 1931,
Charting of ‘Long Point’ 1928 Discovery 54°16’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 196)
Charting of ’The Sen-
1928 Discovery 54°16’S
Charting of ‘Tvistein Pil-
1929 Discovery 68°42’S
Charting of ‘Bouvet Is-
1929 Discovery 54°25’S
1930, 556-557)
Description Date Component Location Source(s)
Charting and Naming of
‘Framnes Head’
1929 Discovery 68°51’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 133)
Naming of ‘Nils Larsen
1929 Discovery 68°47’S
Naming of ‘Norvegia Bay’ 1929 Discovery 68°48’S
Charting of ‘Olstad
1929 Discovery 68°53’S
Aerial Photography of
‘Mount Biscoe’
1929 Discovery 63°13’S
Construction on ‘Lars
1929 Occupation 54°46’S
1930, 557)
Naming of ’Queen Maud
1930 Discovery (Geographic
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 251)
Naming of ‘Seal Bay’ 1930 Discovery 71°45’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 275;
1930, 569)
Naming of ‘Ice Bay’ 1930 Discovery 67°45’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 167;
1930, 566)
Naming of ’Prince Olav
1930 Discovery (Geographic
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 249)
Naming of ‘Gunnerus
1930 Discovery 68°00’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 148;
1930, 567)
Naming of ‘Cape Norve-
1930 Discovery 71°20’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 229)
Naming of ’Princess
Martha Coast’
1930 Discovery (Geographic
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 249;
1930, 569)
Naming of ‘Maud Bank’ 1931 Discovery 65°00’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 207;
Isachsen 1932,
Description Date Component Location Source(s)
Naming of ‘Thorgaut
1931 Discovery 67°27’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 300)
Exploration of ‘Bjerkø
1931 Discovery 67°50’S
Naming of ‘Fram Bank’ 1931 Discovery 67°00’S
Naming of ‘Gustav Bull
1931 Discovery 67°50’S
Naming of ‘Lützow-Holm
1931 Discovery 68°50’S
Naming of ’Princess
Ragnhild Coast’
1931 Discovery (249)
Naming of ‘Princess
Astrid Coast’
1931 Discovery (249)
Annexation of ‘Peter I
1931 Territoriality 68°51’S
(Holtedahl 1931,
Naming of ‘Leopold and
Astrid Coast’
1934 Discovery (Geographic
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 191)
Naming of ‘Vestfold Hills’ 1935 Discovery 68°33’S
Naming of ‘Four Ladies
1936 Discovery 67°30’S
Naming of ‘Gribb Bank’ 1936 Discovery 61°S 87°E (145)
Naming and Charting of
‘Bølingen Islands’
1936 Discovery 69°31’S
Naming of ’Mount Caro-
line Mikkelsen’
1936 Discovery 69°44’S
Naming of ‘Ingrid Chris-
tensen Coast’
1936 Discovery 70°12’S
Naming of ‘Prydz Bay’ 1936 Discovery 69°00’S
Charting of ‘Ranvik Bay’ 1936 Discovery 69°02’S
Charting of ‘Rauer Is-
1936 Discovery 68°50’S
Naming of ‘Sandeord
Ice Bay’
1936 Discovery 69°35’S
Charting of ‘Sørsdal
1936 Discovery 68°42’S
Charting of ‘Søstrene
1936 Discovery 65°35’S
Naming of ‘Svenner
1936 Discovery 69°01’S
Description Date Component Location Source(s)
Mapping of ‘Broka Is-
1936 Discovery 67°05’S
Names of Antarc-
tica 1956, 71)
Naming of ‘Fold Island’ 1936 Discovery 67°18’S
Mapping of ‘Havstein
1936 Discovery 67°06’S
Mapping of ‘Sheehan
1937 Discovery 67°22’S
Exploration of ‘Breidnes
1937 Discovery 68°35’S
Charting of ‘Browns
1937 Discovery 68°57’S
Charting of ‘Chaos
1937 Discovery 69°01’S
Charting of ‘Dålk
1937 Discovery 69°25’S
Charting of ‘Dålk Islet’ 1937 Discovery 69°23’S
Charting of ‘Debutante
1937 Discovery 69°36’S
Charting of ‘Ellis Fjord’ 1937 Discovery 68°38’S
Charting of ‘Filla Island’ 1937 Discovery 68°50’S
Charting of ‘Flatnes Ice
1937 Discovery 69°16’S
Mapping of ‘Framnes
1937 Discovery 67°41’S
Charting of ‘Hop Island’ 1937 Discovery 68°51’S
Charting of ‘Hovde Ice
1937 Discovery 69°14’S
Charting of ’Hovde Islet’ 1937 Discovery 69°14’S
Charting of ‘Mount
1937 Discovery 68°03’S
Mapping of ‘Klakkane
1937 Discovery 67°15’S
Charting of ‘Krok Inlet’ 1937 Discovery 68°41’S
Mapping of ‘Kvarsnes
1937 Discovery 67°02’S
Charting of ‘Langnes In-
1937 Discovery 68°31’S
Description Date Component Location Source(s)
Naming of ‘Langes Penin-
1937 Discovery 68°29’S