‘One Map to Rule Them All’? Revisiting Legalities Through Cartographic Representations of the Northwest Passage
In the legal conceptualization of space, cartography has always been a fundamental tool narrating, representing, generating, or even (re)claiming territory. In this article, we examine the relationship between cartography and international law by looking at different cartographic representations of the area covering the disputed “Northwest Passage” (NWP). In an attempt to discuss how mapping may spring from different ontological assumptions of space among sovereign states and Indigenous communities, this article is devoted to investigations concerning different forms of law–space entanglements drawn from 12 different maps pertinent to the NWP, aiming to critically reconsider the very essence of law applicable to the region. The article supports the argument that approaching the juridical architecture of the Arctic from a pluralistic perspective that also accounts for non-Western visions of space may help as a valuable conceptual lens to rethink “territory” and revisit existing legal realities.