About Polar Cooperation Research Centre

The Polar Cooperation Research Centre (PCRC) was established in October 2015 at the Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies (GSICS), Kobe University, originally to implement the first phase of the Arctic Challenge for Sustainability (ArCS) project. PCRC has successfully completed its mandate under the ArCS , and, after an external evaluation conducted in March 2020 (see the report), Kobe University decided to maintain the Centre for another five years, with an expanded mandate to implement the newArCS II project (June 2020 – March 2025) as well as to further promote Antarctic legal and policy studies. Under the directorship of Professor Akiho Shibata, PCRC is proud to be the world’s leading polar legal research hub, where experts and early-career scholars from around the world gather to discuss topical polar issues in international symposia, workshops and seminars.

Director Shibata as convenor of the 13th Polar Law Symposium
(November 2020) announcing its opening.

Centre’s Research: An Overview

Logo for ArCS II Research
Program on International Law

Under the Arctic Challenge for Sustainability II (ArCS II) project, as the Principal Investigator of the Research Program on “Designing resilient international legal regimes for a sustainable Arctic and the contribution of Japan” (or Research Program on International Law), Professor Shibata is leading a team of around 15 Japanese international lawyers in order to show how the international legal regimes can adapt to the rapidly changing natural environment, socioeconomic situations, and geopolitical settings in the Arctic, and to provide stability and predictability to all stakeholders planning access to the Arctic.

Briefing Paper Series tries to feed
our research results into
the Arctic-related public debates.

Maintaining and strengthening the rule of law in the Arctic region is a pillar of Japan’s Arctic policy. This research aims to create a blueprint for resilient international regimes to support the sustainability of the transforming Arctic region, based on evidence-based research on international law and policy related to the Arctic. The outcome of our research will be published in well-known academic journals , Yearbook of Polar Law (Professor Shibata is a co-editor-in-chief), and edited books. Our research findings will also be made widely available to stakeholders in Japan and international society through our Briefing Paper Series (BPS) as well as PCRC Working Paper Series. PCRC is engaged in other Arctic related research with its members.

The legal and policy research on the Antarctic Treaty System is another focus and strength of the PCRC, with Professor Shibata being one of the few leading and long-standing researchers in Japan and an internationally renowned expert both in Antarctic academic and diplomatic circles (see an article “First Lawyer in Antarctica ”). In 2021, for the first time in an Asian country, PCRC will host the biennial academic conference of the SCAR Standing Committee on Humanities and Social Sciences (SC-HASS ). Utilizing Professor Shibata’s academic and governmental network, both domestic and international, PCRC is supporting several Antarctic legal and policy research projects, such as SCAR Action Group on PoLSciNex , an international book project on the Antarctic Treaty System’s Resilience, and a Japanese Study Group on Antarctic Science and International Trends. Japan is expected to host the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) in 2025, and the policy-oriented legal studies on many of ATCM’s agenda items have become more important than ever.

 Field research near Mt. Riiser-Larsen, East Antarctica (2017)
Field research near Mt. Riiser-Larsen,
East Antarctica (2017)
SC-HASS academic meeting in Ushuaia, Argentina (2019)
SC-HASS academic meeting in Ushuaia,
Argentina (2019)

PCRC Members and Secretariat

Akiho SHIBATA

Director of the PCRC
Professor of International Law, GSICS, Kobe University

Akiho SHIBATA

Research Interest: Public International Law; Arctic Law; Antarctic Treaty System; International Environmental Law, International Lawmaking Process. He is a member of the International Arctic Science Committee’s Social and Human Working Group (IASC-SHWG) and an Executive Committee member of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) Standing Committee on Humanities and Social Sciences (SC-HASS).
E-mail: kobe_arctic_research[at]diamond.kobe-u.ac.jp

Mami FURUHATA

Assistant Professor of the PCRC, GSICS, Kobe University (September 1, 2020- )

Research Interest: Public International Law; International Air Law
E-mail: mfuruhata [at] harbor.kobe-u.ac.jp

Osamu INAGAKI

Researcher of the PCRC, GSICS, Kobe University

Research Interest: Public International Law; Polar International Law; Law of Treaties
Recent Publication:"Osamu Inagaki, "Legal Issues concerning DROMLAN under the Antarctic Treaty System," The Yearbook of Polar Law, Vol. 12 (2020), pp. 61-74
E-mail: osamui [at] people.kobe-u.ac.jp

Wakako MASUDA

PCRC Secretariat, GSICS, Kobe University (April 1, 2020 - )

Affiliation:Polaris Secretaries Office Co., Ltd.
E-mail: pcrc-kobe [at] bear.kobe-u.ac.jp



Former members

* The affiliation and other information of the former PCRC members are those at the time of their departure, and no updating has been done.


Kie ABE

PCRC Senior Research Fellow, Kobe University (November 2020 – February 2021)

Research Interest: Public International Law; Sources of International Law; International Environmental Law
E-mail: kie.abe [at] people.kobe-u.ac.jp

Kazuyo YAMAJI 

Associate Professor, Graduate School of Maritime Sciences, Kobe University (〜May 2020)

Research Interest: Atmospheric and Environmental Science

Yusuke HONDA

Assistant Professor of the PCRC, GSICS, Kobe University (October 1, 2018 - March 31, 2020)

Research Interest: Public International law; Law of the Sea; International Environmental Law

Makiko NISHITANI 

Associate Professor of International Relations, GSICS, Kobe University(October 1, 2015 - March 31, 2020)

Research Interest: Theories of International Politics; International Norm; Global Governance

Alexander SERGUNIN

Visiting Professor, PCRC-GSICS, Kobe University(February 21 - March 24, 2020)

Affiliation:School of International Relations, St. Petersburg State University, Russian Federation
Research Interest:Russia's Arctic strategy; Arctic in global politics
Recent Publications:Sergunin A., Konyshev V., Russia in the Arctic Hard or Soft Power? (idem-Verlag, 2016); Konyshev V., Sergunin A., "Is Russia a revisionist military power inthe Arctic?," Defense and Security Analysis, Vol.30 No.4, (2014),pp.323-335.
E-mail: sergunin60[at]mail.ru

Christoph Humrich

Visiting Associate Professor, GSICS, Kobe University; PCRC member (April 15 - July 5, 2019)

Affiliation: Assistant Professor for International Relations and Security Studies, Department of International Relations and International Organization, Faculty of Arts, University of Groningen, The Netherlands, and Associated Researcher at the Arctic Centre, University of Groningen
Research Interest: Polar and Ocean Politics, Relations and Interaction of International Law and International Politics, International Political Theory
Recent Publications: See https://www.rug.nl/staff/c.humrich/research/publications.html .

Leilei ZOU

JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow (Standard) and Invited Associate Professor, PCRC-GSICS, Kobe University (June 19, 2017- June 18, 2019)

Affiliation: Professor of Shanghai Ocean University , Shanghai China
Research Interest: Marine living resources conservation in polar areas; oceans policies and regulations. She has got papers published in journals in control and protection of marine environment, polar fisheries management, Arctic shipping, and Chinese fisheries policies, etc
Recent Publications: -Zou Leilei, Henry P. Huntington, "Implications of the Convention on the Conservation and Management of Pollock Resources in the Central Bering Sea for the Management of Fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean", Marine Policy, 88, 2018, pp. 132-138.
--Zou Leilei, "Stirred Water Under the Ice Cap: An Analysis on A5’s Stewardship in the Central Arctic Ocean Fisheries Management" Arctic Yearbook, 2016: 453-466.
E-mail:llzou[at]shou.edu.cn

Romain CHUFFART

PCRC Research Fellow, Kobe University (October 26, 2018 - March 31, 2019)

Affiliation: Doctor of Laws (candidate), University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland.
Research Interest: International Law; Law of the Sea; Environmental Law; Human Rights; Indigenous Rights; Polar Governance and Cooperation.
Recent Publications:
- Verena Gisela Huppert & Romain François R. Chuffart, “Collaboration Across the Arctic: A Tool of Regionalization or Simple Pragmatism?” In Heininen L., Exner-Pirot H. & Plouffe J. (eds.) Arctic Yearbook 2017, Akureyri, Northern Research Forum (2017).
E-mail: rchuffart19[at]gmail.com or rchuffar[at]ulapland.fi

Julia JABOUR

Visiting Professor, GSICS, Kobe University; PCRC member (June 30 - August 3, 2018)

Affiliation:Leader, Ocean and Antarctic Governance Research Program, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS), University of Tasmania
Research Interest: polar governance, marine governance
Recent Publications: see <http://www.utas.edu.au/profiles/staff/imas/julia-jabour >

Nikolas P. SELLHEIM

JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow (Short-Term) and PCRC Senior Research Fellow (February 28, 2017- February 27, 2018)

Research Interest: Arctic law and governance; maritime societies; marine mammal hunting; legal anthropology. Nikolas is the co-Editor-in-Chief of Polar Record , the journal of the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, UK.
Recent Publications:
- Scopes and Limits of ‘Arcticness’ – Arctic Livelihoods, Marine Mammals, and the Law. (forthcoming). In: Kelman, Ilan (ed.). Arcticness and change: Power and voice from the north. London: UCL Press.
- The Voice of Disapproval: The Expressive Function and Paradox of the EU Seal Regime. 2016. The Polar Journal 6 (2): 224-242.
E-mail: nps31[at]cam.ac.uk

Rasmus Gjedssø Bertelsen

JSPS Invited Fellow (October 20 - December 18, 2017) and Visiting Professor, PCRC-GSICS, Kobe University

Affiliation: Professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences of UiT - The Arctic University of Norway.
Research Interest: Arctic International Relations; the Arctic in the international system, past, present, future; transnational knowledge relations; science diplomacy; epistemic communities.
Recent Publications:Bertelsen, Rasmus Gjedssø; Noori, Neema; Rickli, Jean-Marc. Strategies of Knowledge Transfer for Economic Diversification in the Arab States of the Gulf. Gerlach Press;Bertelsen, Rasmus Gjedssø; Li, Xing; Gregersen, Mette Højris. Chinese Arctic Science Diplomacy: An Instrument for Achieving the Chinese Dream?. Routledge 2017.
Website: https://en.uit.no/om/enhet/ansatte/person?p_document_id=393754&p_dimension_id=88153

Marzia SCOPELLITI

Research Fellow of PCRC-GSICS, Kobe University (October 16, 2017-February 15, 2018)

Affiliation: Ph.D. candidate in Law, Complutense University of Madrid
Research Interest: International Environmental Law; Arctic Governance; International Relationship.
Recent Publications:
- Scopelliti, M. & N. Sellheim. (under review). “Sustaining a Conservationist Agenda? NGO-Influence on Arctic Sealing, Whaling and Hydrocarbon Regimes.” In Shibata, A., N. Sellheim, L. Zou & M. Scopelliti (eds.) Emerging Legal Orders in the Arctic: The Role of Non-Arctic Actors. New York, London: Routledge (forthcoming).
- Conde Pérez, E. & M. Scopelliti. (2018). “Arctic Region.” In Carty, T. (ed.) Oxford Bibliographies in International Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
E-mail: marziasc[at]ucm.es

Maria Madalena das Neves

Visiting Associate Professor, GSICS, Kobe University; PCRC Member (September 7 - November 6, 2017)

Affiliation: Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law of UiT - The Arctic University of Norway, Researcher at the K.G. Jebsen Centre for the Law of the Sea
Research Interest: Energy Law, International Law of the Sea, International Economic Law, International Environmental and Climate Change Law, European Law, EEA Law.
Recent Publications:
Maria Madalena das Neves and Nigel Bankes, "The Energy Policies of Selected Arctic States" in Natalia Loukacheva (ed.), Polar Law and Resources, Norden 2015 pp. 119 - 134.

Lindsay Arthur TAMM

Research Fellow of PCRC-GSICS, Kobe University (June 20-September 30, 2016)

Affiliation: Polar Law graduate student at the University of Akureyri, Iceland
Research Interest: Public International Law; Arctic Governance; Antarctic Treaty; Arctic Council Observer States
E-mail:ha150374[at]unak.is

Tore HENRIKSEN

Visiting Professor, GSICS, Kobe University
PCRC Member (July 1-September 16, 2016)

Affiliation: Professor, UiT, Arctic University of Norway; Leader, K.G. Jebsen Centre for the Law of the Sea
Research Interest: International law of the sea, International environmental law and international fisheries law
Recent Publications: Tore Henriksen,“Protecting Polar Environments: Coherency in Regulating Arctic Shipping.” In Rosemary Rayfuse (ed.), Research Handbook on International Marine Environmental Law (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2015), pp. 363-384; Tore Henriksen,“Conservation of marine biodiversity and the International Maritime Organization.” In Christina Voigt (ed.), Rule of Law for Nature: New Dimensions and Ideas in Environmental Law (Cambridge University Press, 2013), pp.331-346.
E-mail: tore.henriksen[at]uit.no

Alexander SERGUNIN

JSPS Invited Fellow (July 1-August 29, 2016) and Visiting Professor, PCRC-GSICS, Kobe University

Affiliation:School of International Relations, St. Petersburg State University, Russian Federation
Research Interest:Russia's Arctic strategy; Arctic in global politics
Recent Publications:Sergunin A., Konyshev V., Russia in the Arctic Hard or Soft Power? (idem-Verlag, 2016); Konyshev V., Sergunin A., "Is Russia a revisionist military power inthe Arctic?," Defense and Security Analysis, Vol.30 No.4, (2014),pp.323-335.
E-mail: sergunin60[at]mail.ru

Lotta VIIKARI

Visiting Professor (March 3-April 7, 2016), PCRC-GSICS, Kobe University

Affiliation: Professor of Public International Law, Director of the Institute of Air and Space Law, University of Lapland, Finland
Research Interest: Public International Law; Space Law; International Environmental Law; Law of the Sea; Arctic Law
E-mail: Lotta.Viikari[at]ulapland.fi