Dr Mia Bennet

IAS Spotlight Series: Arctic Geopolitics

Department of Geography, The University of Hong Kong

Mia Bennett is an Assistant Professor in the Geography Department and School of Modern Languages & Cultures (China Studies Programme) at the University of Hong Kong.

Mia studies the critical and material practices of infrastructure development in spaces commonly though of as ‘frontiers’, namely the Arctic and areas within China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Currently, she is researching the scalar politics of how state and non-state actors conjure places as "infrastructure gaps" in order to rationalize major development projects. Previously, she undertook fieldwork in Canada's Northwest Territories to understand how the Inuvialuit people spearheaded the construction of the country’s first highway to the Arctic Ocean, which opened in 2017, and applied multitemporal night light imagery to study regional development in Russia and China following the Soviet Union's disintegration.

Bennett speaks French, Swedish, and Russian and has traveled extensively in the Arctic, from the Greenland Ice Sheet to northeast Russia. As a strong advocate for making academic research accessible and interesting to the general public, Bennett comments frequently on Arctic issues on her blog, Cryopolitics, which is syndicated by outlets including The Maritime Executive, Radio Canada International, and Arctic Today. She received her PhD in Geography from UCLA and MPhil in Polar Studies from the University of Cambridge, where she was a Gates Scholar.