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This article reviews the codification of the international standard for maritime territorial claims, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), in context of a transformation in the concept of territorial sovereignty. Shifting climate conditions, new technologies for oil extraction, and increasing international demand—factors that make expensive extraction more viable—have recently created a “Scramble for the Arctic,” featuring competing maritime claims by Russia, Canada, Denmark, Norway and the United States. As territorial disputes are one of the most common correlates to militarized conflict, potential insight for avoiding war through a neoliberal institutional framework is of interest. The resolution of the “arctic scramble” also holds a precedent-setting promise, as there are similar pending crises in Antarctica and contentious territorial claims in the South China Sea. Will these nations observe the rule of international law and dispute resolution procedures set forth in UNCLOS, or will we observe a twentieth century neo-imperial echo to the Scramble for Africa?