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Department of Geography

Staff Profile

Publication details for Professor Philip Steinberg

Steinberg, P. Europe's ‘Others’ in the Polar Mediterranean. Tijdschrift voor economische en sociale geografie. 2016;107:177-188.

Author(s) from Durham


A large body of literature problematises the role of the Mediterranean, as both civilisational hearth and liminal frontier, in both ancient and modern Europe. However, much less attention has been directed to the inland sea at Europe's northern edge: the Arctic. Increasingly, as the Arctic becomes attractive to non-Arctic European capitals as a potential site of investment and (in)security, European states, and perhaps the EU as a whole, are seeking to construct the Arctic, like the Mediterranean, as a space that is both marginal and central to the continent's future. This paper seeks to investigate the extent to which the Arctic is, to paraphrase Viljhalmur Stefansson, Europe's ‘Polar Mediterranean’ and what this means for Europe as it constructs institutions and identities that, as in the Mediterranean, use the concept of the inland sea to both incorporate and differentiate its internal and external ‘others.’