Contested Place and the Legitimization of Sovereignty through Tourism in Polar Regions –
Introduction Countries have a tradition of zealously guarding every metre of national territory for a variety of reasons, including the resources that might lie beneath, the valuable agricultural land above, or to be able to control shipping routes and ocean resources. For these same reasons, countries have a long tradition of occupying and annexing lands beyond their traditional borders. While much of this type of activity has diminished in the modern world as most of the earth has now been explored and come under the sovereign control of nearly 200 nation states, there are some land areas still in dispute between two or more vying polities, most of which lie in extreme peripheral zones or are comprised of seemingly insignifi cant islets or rocky outcrops in the seas, as well as marine areas under the Law of the Sea. Claimant countries have devised a variety of ways to assert their territorial claims, including establishing scientifi c research stations, creating human settlements, and initiating economic activities.