Study level

  • PhD
  • Master of Philosophy
  • Honours


Topic status

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Research centre


Professor Michael Bode
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Science
Dr Kate Helmstedt
Research Fellow (DECRA)
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Science


Antarctica is governed by a coalition of 29 countries ('consultative parties') who must agree unanimously before a law can be passed. This project will apply theories from social network analysis and cooperative game theory to map relationships between the different parties, and to predict their behaviour on a series of important environmental issues.

Research activities

In other legislative bodies around the world, data science has been used to understand the behaviour of actors (e.g., individual senators, or countries in the United Nations) towards pieces of legislation. Natural language analysis is used to describe the purpose of a piece of legislation, and which are then described in a vector space alongside the opinions of different legislators. We will apply these tools to actors and decisions made in the various arms of the Antarctic Treaty System.

Past behaviour can also be used to map connections between parties on different topics, creating networks of agreement. We will apply methods from social network analysis to describe implicit coalition structure among Antarctic parties. By applying techniques from cooperative game theory, we hope to predict which particular issues proceed through legislation to become Antarctic law.


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