a1 Department of Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX (email@example.com)
This article is concerned with the contemporary Antarctic and the kinds of sovereignty performances undertaken by claimant states such as Australia. Notwithstanding the entry into force of the Antarctic Treaty, claimant states have used, what this article terms, ‘treaty sovereignty’ further to entrench their sovereign rights, especially within public culture. Using Australia as a detailed example, the article considers how a range of activities including anti-whaling developments alongside contemporary public commentary has on the one hand stressed ‘sovereign rights’ and yet on the other hand, revealed a sense of anxiety and fear regarding the role of others; what one might term overall a form of ‘sovereignty watch’. In conclusion, the paper speculates on whether the treaty parties are entering an unstable phase of Antarctic co-existence precisely because of the kinds of behaviours that ‘treaty sovereignty’ encourages.
(Received April 2010)
(Online publication December 02 2010)