Michele Zebich-Knos

Professor Emeritus at Kennesaw State University; and Fellow, University of Vermont's Institute for Environmental Diplomacy and Security
Political Science and International Affairs
mzebich@kennesaw.edu |  Visit Personal Website

Search Google Scholar
Search for Google Scholar Profile

Michele Zebich-Knos is currently a non-resident Fellow at the Institute for Environmental Diplomacy and Security at the University of Vermont. Her research includes: international environmental and regulatory policy; polar issues; international environmental regime development. Zebich-Knos' current research focuses on private voluntary regulations as they apply to Antarctic tourism and on Arctic Search and Rescue and its relation to polar security. Her chapter on Antarctic regulation and tourism was published in Rebecca Pincus and Saleem Ali (eds.), Diplomacy on Ice (Yale University Press, 2015). Her latest publication focuses on the Arctic: "The unique dual-nature aspect of search and rescue enables competing frames: Russia, the USA, and the cruise industry" in Polar Geography (2016) coedited with Rebecca Pincus, Ph.D. (U.S. Coast Guard Academy).

Zebich-Knos, Michele. 2015. “Managing Polar Policy through Public and Private Regulatory Standards: The Case of Tourism in the Antarctic,” Rebecca Pincus and Saleem Ali, eds. Diplomacy on Ice: Energy, the Environment, and Emergent Cooperation in the Artic and Antarctica (pp. 94-112). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Abstract: As the race for resources in distant parts of the planet gathers momentum, the Arctic and Antarctic have taken on a more prominent role in international relations. Discussion has mostly centered on the potential for conflict, environmental destruction, and upheaval from climate change. This important book shifts the conversation from conflict to cooperation, bringing to light various underappreciated facets of diplomacy. Expert contributors from a wide variety of disciplines provide a more nuanced view of emerging cooperation in the poles than ever before. The authors discuss the complexities of governing the Arctic and Antarctic, addressing such issues as energy development, indigenous peoples’ rights, tourism, invasive species, ship traffic, commercial fishing, military patrols, and mineral exploration. Will we repeat history and do lasting damage to fragile arctic ecosystems and traditional ways of life? Or can we create governance structures to protect these irreplaceable zones of discovery and awe, and usher in a new era of cooperation at the ends of the earth? This compelling book points the way toward finding the best answers.
URL: http://yalebooks.com/book/9780300205169/diplomacy-ice
Pincus, Rebecca and Michele Zebich-Knos. 2016. "The unique dual-nature aspect of search and rescue enables competing frames: Russia, the USA, and the cruise industry." Polar Geography 39(2): 113-128.
Abstract: The provision of search and rescue (SAR) services is one way in which states ensure the security of citizens within national areas of sovereignty. In the maritime Arctic, a blend of military and civilian agencies has been delegated responsibility for the SAR mission by the eight Arctic states. The joint aspect of SAR permits enhancements to SAR capacity to be framed as both reassuring improvements on safety in the Arctic and as alarming militarization of the region. The dual framing is particularly active in the US–Russia dyad, in which each state’s media contributes to alarming frames of the other’s behavior. However, bureaucratic framing by both Russian and US governments emphasizes cooperation in SAR and the costs of effective SAR capabilities. Finally, the cruise industry, as a prominent consumer of SAR missions, frames SAR in the Arctic entirely differently. This paper argues that the unique civil–military aspects of SAR in the Arctic enable competing and confusing frames to persist, with possible ramifications to the policy process around improving safety and security in the region.
URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1088937X.2016.1181682
DOI: doi.org/10.1080/1088937X.2016.1181682
Zebich-Knos, Michele. 2011. "Haiti's Toxic Waste Dilemma: A Case Study of Environmental Policy Shortcomings in Global Context." Journal of Public Management and Social Policy 17 (1): 67-84.
Abstract: The case selected for this research pertains to an environmental dispute which resulted from the dumping of incinerator ash near Gonaïves, Haiti. The dispute illustrates how an asymmetric relationship between powerful and weak states (i.e., United States and Haiti), as well as political instability of the weaker state can delay resolution of an environmental conflict.
URL: http://www.jpmsp.com/volume-17/vol17-iss1
Heininen, Lassi, and Michele Zebich-Knos. 2011. "Polar Regions - Comparing Arctic and Antarctic Border Debates." Doris Wastl-Walter, ed. Ashgate Research Companion to Border Studies (pp. 195-218). Farnham, UK: Ashgate Publishing.
Abstract: This chapter examines issue areas for both north and south poles that draw upon border research. Arctic security and climate change are examined within the context of its circumpolar states while the Antarctic Treaty System and the UN Convention on the Law of the Seas offer practical guideposts for future conflict resolution and possible regime formation.
URL: https://www.routledge.com/The-Ashgate-Research-Companion-to-Border-Studies/Wastl-Walter/p/book/9780754674061
Zebich-Knos, Michele. 2007. "Conflict Avoidance and Environmental Protection: The Antarctic Paradigm." Saleem Ali, ed. Peace Parks: Conservation and Conflict Resolution (pp. 163-182). Cambridge: MIT Press.
Abstract: This chapter examines environmental regime formation and, in particular, the Antarctic Treaty System. Conflict avoidance, security concerns, and natural resource exploration are examined in relation to Antarctic regime formation.
URL: https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/peace-parks

Substantive Focus:
Environmental Policy PRIMARY
Defense and Security
International Relations SECONDARY

Theoretical Focus:
Agenda-Setting, Adoption, and Implementation PRIMARY