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Jan 01 0001
Adaptive Governance for a Changing Arctic
By Oran R. Young
The Arctic is a dynamic region. Conditions prevailing in the region today differ from those of yesterday in ways that have far-reaching consequences regarding needs for governance and the means of addressing them. There is every reason to expect that the Arctic of tomorrow will present a new array of needs for governance. It follows that effective governance in this region requires arrangements that are resilient in the sense that they are able to adapt to changing demands for governance over time without compromising their ability to solve problems in the present.[①] Taking this observation as a point of departure, I consider current and future needs for governance in the Arctic and assess the capacity of existing and emerging arrangements to meet these needs effectively. In the concluding section, I comment on the implications of these developments for the framing of policies relating to the Arctic on the part of China and other non-Arctic states.

I. The Changing Arctic

With the waning of the Cold War during the 1980s and the final collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991, the Arctic moved to the periphery of international society in geopolitical and geo-economic terms. Whereas the Arctic had been a critical theater of operations during the Cold War for the deployment of nuclear-armed submarines and manned bombers equipped with long-range cruise missiles, military activity in the region became a sideshow in the post-Cold War strategic environment. Submarines still operated in the Arctic Basin with some frequency, but no one paid much attention to the region in thinking about cutting-edge concerns in the realm of international security. The Arctic remained a source of world-class deposits of oil and gas. At its height, the Prudhoe Bay field on Alaska’s North Slope alone produced about two million barrels of oil a day to be shipped to southern markets via the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. But the 1990s also emerged as a period of low world market prices for oil. During the middle of the decade, for example, the benchmark price for oil dipped below $20 a barrel (in 2011 dollars). The role of Arctic hydrocarbons in international trade was limited. Just as the region moved to the periphery in strategic terms, therefore, the Arctic seemed less attractive in global economic terms than it had seemed in the preceding decades.

From the perspective of international cooperation, these conditions were conducive to innovation. Few cared about the implications of Arctic developments in global terms. But those whose concerns were regional in scope found that resistance to innovative initiatives in national capitals was not a serious barrier to progress. The result was a series of new initiatives starting with the establishment of the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) in 1990 and proceeding with the launching of the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy (1991), the founding of the Northern Forum in 1991/1993, the creation of the Barents Euro-Arctic Region (BEAR) in 1993, and finally the founding of the Arctic Council in 1996. Taken together, this burst of cooperative initiatives constituted a remarkable development; it put the Arctic on a cooperative path that has played out with impressive results during the subsequent years. Many came to regard the region as a prominent example of success in the effort to promote peace and pursue sustainable development at the regional level.

Changes occurring in recent years have altered the status of the Arctic in important respects.[②] The impacts of climate change are being felt sooner and more dramatically in the Arctic than anywhere else on the planet. Not only is this significant in its own right; it is also opening the Arctic to development on the part of those interested in commercial shipping, the extraction of natural resources including minerals as well as hydrocarbons, and newly emerging opportunities for adventure tourism. As a result the links between the Arctic as a more or less distinct region and the global system are becoming tighter. There is no reason to expect at this stage that the Arctic is on its way toward becoming a zone of conflict. Nonetheless, it is easy to understand the growth of interest in Arctic developments on the part of important non-Arctic actors such as the European Union and major Asian states including China.

The links between the Arctic and the global system are environmental, economic, and political in nature. The impacts of climate change on the Arctic extend well beyond the melting of sea ice to include ocean acidification, the growing intensity of coastal storm surges, the melting of permafrost, and the destabilization of the Greenland ice sheet. Environmental links also include fluxes of contaminants (e.g. POPs), heavy metals (e.g. mercury), and black carbon that originate beyond the confines of the Arctic but make their way to the region via airborne and waterborne vectors. The growth of interest in commercial shipping in the Arctic and the extraction of the region’s natural resources is conditioned by global market forces that determine the attractiveness of newly accessible Arctic shipping routes and supplies of oil and gas. While conflicts relating to the Arctic itself are of limited importance and generally subject to mutually agreeable methods of resolution, the region is increasingly sensitive to global geopolitical forces, such as the rise of East-West tensions in areas like the Ukraine and the increasing influence of a resurgent China. A common denominator regarding all the regional-global links is the increasing importance of external drivers as determinants of what happens at the regional level. It follows that Arctic governance arrangements must find effective means to address the impacts of these external drivers rather than treating the Arctic as a self-contained region that can be governed without reference to the effects of broader environmental, economic, and political forces. This means, among other things, that non-Arctic actors must couple expressions of interest in Arctic opportunities with an acknowledgement of their shared responsibility for the fate of the Arctic.

Under the circumstances, it is important to draw a distinction between those needs for governance that can be addressed effectively through regional mechanisms like the Arctic Council and those needs that will require attention on the part of mechanisms that are able to engage with extra-regional forces. A few examples will clarify the importance of this observation. While the factors that will determine the attractiveness of Arctic shipping routes are global in nature, the need for enhanced search and rescue (SAR) capacity in the Arctic is a matter that the Arctic Council is well-suited to address. The 2011 Agreement on Cooperation on Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue in the Arctic negotiated under the auspices of the council makes good sense.[③] While world market forces will determine the prospects for large-scale oil and gas development in the Arctic, the issues associated with oil spill preparedness and response in the maritime Arctic are suitable for treatment at the regional level. The Agreement on Cooperation on Marine Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response in the Arctic signed at the Arctic Council’s Ministerial Meeting in Kiruna, Sweden in May 2013 therefore makes sense.[④] While economic and political forces that are global in scope will determine the impacts of climate change in the Arctic, issues of adaptation to the impacts of such changes are matters of regional concern. The Arctic Council’s ongoing project on Adaptation Actions for a Changing Arctic (AACA) is thus an appropriate initiative at this stage.[⑤] It is essential to differentiate among needs for governance in terms of their suitability for regional treatment, allocating those that are suitable to mechanisms like the Arctic Council and recognizing the need to turn to broader mechanisms in cases where regional solutions are not feasible.

II. An Arctic Governance Mosaic

The central elements of the Arctic governance system are products of agreements reached during the 1990s. They have served the region well for almost twenty years. The Arctic Council, for example, has proven more effective in dealing with an array of regional issues than most of those present at the creation in 1996 were able to foresee.[⑥] Despite its obvious limits as an intergovernmental organization, the council has had considerable success in identifying emerging issues, framing them for consideration in policy arenas, and moving them into prominent spots on the policy agenda. Nevertheless, as we move toward the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Arctic Council, it is increasingly apparent that the existing arrangements are not adequate to address the full range of needs for governance relating to the Arctic arising today and likely to come into focus during the coming years. The question of how to adapt the existing arrangements to meet emerging needs for governance is increasingly prominent.

Some governmental and non-governmental bodies (e.g. the European Union, the World Wildlife Fund), often referring to experience with the Antarctic Treaty System, have proposed the establishment of a comprehensive and legally binding treaty for the Arctic. But this is not a realistic option for the Arctic during the foreseeable future.[⑦] The analogy between the two polar regions is not helpful in this connection. Unlike the Antarctic, the Arctic has approximately four million permanent residents, has long been militarized, and is the site of world-class industrial operations.[⑧] What is more, the five Arctic coastal states have made it clear that they do not support such an initiative. While it is possible that the views of these states will change in the future, this is not a likely occurrence over the next 5-10 years.

There are other reasons as well why an effort to devise a comprehensive Arctic Treaty is not a desirable step at this juncture. There is a standard tradeoff between the legally binding nature of an agreement and the willingness of states to become members, the content of an agreement’s substantive provisions, and the time it takes both to negotiate the terms of the agreement and to execute the formalities required for the agreement to enter into force. An Arctic Treaty with significant content would be difficult to negotiate and would almost certainly take considerable time to enter into force; there is a real prospect that one or more of the coastal states would fail to ratify the treaty. Equally important in terms of the focus of this article, legally binding agreements are seldom highly adaptable. Although they may include provisions allowing for the introduction of amendments, these provisions are typically cumbersome and politically sensitive. These difficulties are clearly exemplified by the experience of the Antarctic Treaty System.

If a comprehensive treaty is not the solution for Arctic governance, what is the alternative? What makes sense at this stage is the continued development of a mosaic of governance arrangements. The hallmark of this mosaic is the existence of a number of distinct elements that all deal in one way or another with the same spatially-defined region but that are non-hierarchical in the sense that they are not subordinate to one another and that there is no overarching arrangement under which they all operate.[⑨] In the case of the Arctic, it is helpful to identify six types of elements of the emerging institutional mosaic: (i) global agreements or regimes developed by global organizations that are pertinent to the Arctic, (ii) the Arctic Council (iii) place-based management mechanisms, (iv) public-private partnerships, (v) informal venues for addressing Arctic matters of common concern, and (vi) all-hands gatherings.

The 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea provides a constitutive framework applying to human activities in the maritime Arctic just as it applies to other areas.[⑩] The Convention also contains a separate article on ice-covered waters (Art. 234), which allows the Arctic coastal states to initiate special measures regarding the protection of marine systems. The general provisions of Article 76 on the delimitation of jurisdictional boundaries on the outer continental shelf have become especially important with the increasing accessibility of Arctic waters. A number of the International Maritime Organization’s conventions (e.g. SOLAS, MARPOL) are applicable to the Arctic. The current effort to negotiate a legally-binding Polar Code dealing with the design, construction, and operation of commercial ships in Arctic waters is taking place within the framework of the IMO and is open to participation on the part of all IMO members. Several other international conventions (e.g. the 2001 Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, the 2013 Minamata Convention on Mercury) are applicable to the Arctic. In some cases, Arctic concerns are recognized as having played a role in the effort to reach agreement on the terms of these conventions.[11]

The Arctic Council, established as a high level forum under the terms of the 1996 Ottawa Declaration, adopted by the eight Arctic states, deals with matters of environmental protection and sustainable development throughout the Arctic.[12] The council is not a formal intergovernmental organization. But it has had considerable success in identifying important issues relating to the Arctic and framing them for consideration in policy arenas. The treatment of indigenous peoples’ organizations as Permanent Participants is a particularly innovative feature of this arrangement. Recently, the council has taken a growing interest in the negotiation of agreements on specific matters falling within its area of interest. The 2011 agreement on search and rescue and the 2013 agreement on oil pollution preparedness and response exemplify this trend.

Another element of the Arctic mosaic centers on arrangements aimed at protecting individual species within their range or at designating more limited areas as marine protected areas. The five-nation polar agreement adopted by the Arctic coastal states in 1973 is a prominent example of the first of these categories.[13] Current efforts to devise measures to protect Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs) in the Arctic through the designation of Ecologically and Biologically Sensitive Areas under the Convention on Biological Diversity or the identification of Particularly Sensitive Seas Areas under MARPOL exemplify the second category. The longstanding international regime for the Svalbard Archipelago, set forth in the terms of the 1920 Treaty of Spitsbergen, provides an example of a different sort of international regime dealing with a spatially-defined area within the Arctic.[14]

The Arctic governance mosaic also includes public-private partnerships addressing matters of common interest. A striking example involves commercial shipping where the International Association of Classification Societies operates a regulatory system assigning ice class designations to individual ships, while the IMO is responsible for the emerging Polar Code. Together, these arrangements are likely to play a key role in the development of marine insurance schemes applicable to Arctic shipping. A growth area for public-private partnerships in the future involves the development of Arctic infrastructure needed in connection with commercial navigation and the extraction of natural resources in the High North.

Two types of informal mechanisms round out the Arctic governance mosaic. Some informal mechanisms provide off-the-record venues that are conducive to personal interactions, confidence building activities, and the exploration of innovative ideas in a private setting. Perhaps the most prominent example is the annual Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromsø, Norway, which has become a meeting place for Russians and westerners concerned with matters of Arctic policy. To this we can add the North Pacific Arctic Conferences, which have provided an off-the-record venue since 2011 for discussions between individuals from Asian states (e.g. China, Japan, Korea) and Arctic states,[15] as well as the World Economic Forum, which has offered a meeting place for those interested in Arctic economic opportunities for several years.[16]

The other informal mechanism is the Arctic Circle, an all-hands assembly of persons interested in the Arctic from inside and outside the region and from many walks of life, which met for the first time in Iceland during the fall of 2013.[17] It is too early to tell what course the Arctic Circle will take as it develops and seeks to find a distinctive niche in the Arctic governance mosaic. At this juncture, however, the Arctic Circle appears to be taking on many of the features of an annual trade fair in which producers and consumers of Arctic innovations exchange thoughts, building an expansive community of those interested in the region and providing a venue for informal networking in the process. The role of this body differs from that of the Arctic Council, which is an intergovernmental arrangement, and from the other informal mechanisms, which specialize in off-the-record consultations among those with well-defined interests in emerging Arctic issues.

III. Integration and Adaptive Capacity

Governance mosaics associated with spatially-defined areas, like regime complexes addressing broad issue domains, vary along a spectrum from integration to fragmentation.[18] In some cases, there is a relatively clear division of labor, and the principal elements fit together in a manor that enhances effectiveness. But there is no basis for assuming that this will be the case. Individual elements are often responsive to different perceived needs for governance, championed by different actors or interest groups, and established at different times and in different forms. In some cases, individual elements are crafted in such a way that they are responsive to the concerns of distinct interest groups rather than designed to promote common interests. This makes it relevant to examine the Arctic mosaic critically in search of significant gaps and overlaps. And it triggers a consideration of whether there are mechanisms at hand that can promote the integration of this governance mosaic going forward. Several possibilities are worthy of consideration in this regard.

It is important to think carefully about the characteristics of issues suitable for treatment by regional bodies like the Arctic Council in contrast to global bodies like the International Maritime Organization. Finding ways to adapt to the impacts of climate change is a regional matter, for example, while taking steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions requires global actions. The initiative of the Arctic Council in launching the AACA project therefore makes good sense. A particularly helpful integrative activity going forward would be a conscious effort to distinguish between those issues suitable for regional action and issues requiring extra-regional action. In the case of the latter (e.g. the treatment of contaminants originating outside the Arctic, the control of black carbon), the Arctic Council can play a role by articulating the concerns of Arctic residents in a forceful manner. But effective measures to solve the relevant problems will require action on the part of non-Arctic actors (e.g. those who negotiated the terms of the 2001 Stockholm Convention).

In other cases, it makes sense to nest regional agreements into broader international governance systems. The link between the Arctic Council’s 2013 agreement on oil pollution preparedness and response and the 1990 International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation, a global arrangement developed under the auspices of the IMO, for example, is both intentional and constructive. Some have criticized the 2013 agreement on the grounds that it does not address the issue of oil-spill prevention. This criticism is understandable, especially in light of the fact that oil spills under the conditions prevailing in the Arctic may prove particularly harmful; there is much to be said for keeping up the pressure to take additional steps to address this problem.[19] But there is no doubt that the 2013 agreement gains strength from the fact that it features a regional application of broader measures that are already in place at the global level.

Beyond this lies the prospect that the Arctic Council may be able to assume a role as facilitator regarding the disparate elements of the Arctic governance mosaic. At this stage, initiatives relating to shipping, oil and gas development, mining, fishing, wildlife protection, tourism, scientific cooperation, and so forth are proceeding for the most part along separate tracks. But they obviously have implications for one another. Think of issues involving interactions between marine mammals on the one hand and commercial shipping and oil and gas development on the other as cases in point. The council lacks the authority to make binding decisions about matters of this sort, a limitation that is not likely to change any time soon. Nevertheless, it has a remit that is broad enough to take in matters of this sort, and it has developed the expertise (largely through the activities of its working groups) to play a role of some significance in identifying such concerns and exploring options for addressing them constructively. Success in this realm could make an important contribution toward the integration of the Arctic governance mosaic.

Given what I have said about the dynamism of the Arctic, it is apparent at this stage that a capacity to adapt effectively and in a timely manner will be essential to the success of the Arctic governance mosaic. Some requirements for adaptiveness are generic in the sense that they are relevant to all governance systems. Thus, it is essential to put in place observing and monitoring systems that can provide early warning regarding impending changes. Taking steps to strengthen the science/policy interface to allow for the co-production of governance arrangements is helpful. Devising tools that can contribute to the identification and evaluation of policy options in a variety of settings is a worthwhile endeavor. But it is also possible to offer some observations about institutional adaptiveness that are more specific to the current situation regarding Arctic governance.

The fact that the Arctic governance system does not take the form of a comprehensive and legally-binding agreement may be an advantage from the perspective of adaptiveness. Comprehensive and legally-binding agreements are notoriously difficult to adjust to match shifts in needs for governance arising from changing circumstances. An example of particular relevance to Arctic governance is the 1959 Antarctic Treaty. This treaty allows any Contracting Party to call for the organization of a review conference once the treaty has been in force for thirty years (i.e. anytime after 1991 given the fact that the treaty entered into force in 1961).[20] But no country has called for the organization of such a conference during the intervening years, despite the emergence of new concerns relating to Antarctic governance. The universal fear is that a review conference would open a Pandora’s box of complex issues that would be extremely difficult to address constructively. As a result, the parties have concluded that it is better to address newly emerging issues through the negotiation of separate protocols (e.g. the Environmental Protocol) or distinct agreements (e.g. the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources). But there has been no initiative of this sort since the negotiation of the 1991 Environmental Protocol. And there is nothing unusual about the circumstances surrounding the Antarctic Treaty in this regard.

The Arctic governance mosaic encompasses a mix of arrangements with regard to their legal status. Some individual elements are legally binding. This is true, for example, both of the Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants and of the SAR agreement negotiated under the auspices of the Arctic Council. Interestingly, the Polar Code, now under negotiation within the IMO, is intended to take the form of a legally-binding regulatory arrangement; it will replace a set of voluntary guidelines dealing with commercial shipping in the Arctic adopted initially in 2002. These arrangements make perfectly good sense. The Arctic Council, by contrast, is based on a ministerial declaration that is not legally binding. While there are those who would like to formalize the council, it is unlikely that this will happen during the foreseeable future. The International Arctic Science Committee, the principal mechanism for stimulating new research on Arctic issues, is a nongovernmental organization established under an agreement among national academies of science of the participating countries.[21] Mechanisms like Arctic Frontiers and the North Pacific Arctic Conferences, of course, are simply informal venues that offer opportunities for individual players to engage in off-the-record conversations in an unobtrusive setting. Though the resultant mosaic may strike some as lacking in neatness or tidiness, there is much to be said for this fluid system from the perspective of adaptive governance. It allows for formalization in areas where this seems desirable, while at the same time making it easy to adjust other elements to meet the needs of changing circumstances.

With regard to the Arctic Council, which sits at the center of the Arctic governance mosaic, there is considerable interest in some quarters in making this arrangement more formal, in effect turning it into a “normal” intergovernmental organization. But this idea seems ill-advised, at least at this stage in the evolution of Arctic governance. Formalization might sideline some of the council’s most innovative features (e.g. the distinctive role accorded to the Permanent Participants), and it would tend to freeze the principal features of the council in place at a particular point in time. The council is in need of significant adjustments at this stage. There is a need for improved recognition and understanding of the council’s generative role. The provisions regarding observers are somewhat dysfunctional. It would help to foster more productive relations between the International Arctic Science Committee and the council’s working groups. A regular budget for council operations would allow those responsible for the operation of the council to make decisions about new projects on the basis of programmatic considerations rather than on largely opportunistic grounds. But it is essential to note that the circumstances of the council are evolving rapidly as the Arctic continues to experience transformative change. With all due respect to the virtues of formalization, much of the success of the Arctic Council is attributable to its ability to adapt to changing circumstances with comparative ease.

IV. Implications for China and Other Non-Arctic States

Because this article is intended first and foremost to address concerns of the non-Arctic states, I want to close with some observations about the implications of my analysis for the Arctic activities of non-Arctic states (and non-state actors). I single out China in this regard both because Chinese interest in the Arctic has grown rapidly in recent years and because China’s rising importance at the global level as a geo-economic and geopolitical power makes it impossible to ignore the importance of China’s role with regard to the future of the Arctic. I can summarize my thoughts in a series of five bullet points:

4.1 Adopt a proactive attitude toward the Arctic Council, but don’t expect too much. Observership in the Arctic Council is an important asset. But it cannot and will not lead to far-reaching opportunities to influence the course of Arctic governance, not least because the role of the council itself is limited. The best prospect is to engage at the level of the Arctic Council’s working groups and, more specifically, to become actively involved in the work of specific projects carried out under the auspices of the working groups (e.g. current work on the Arctic Human Development Report II, the Arctic Resilience Report, the AACA).

4.2 Encourage business initiatives but do not regard them as elements of a political strategy. There is an understandable sensitivity, based on experience in other parts of the world, about the use of foreign investment and business initiatives as elements of a political strategy.[22] This is particularly true in cases such as China’s overtures to small Arctic players like Greenland and Iceland. The trick is to avoid these concerns, without refraining from launching promising business initiatives.

4.3 Contribute to the construction of the infrastructure needed to support responsible development in the Arctic as a public good. Infrastructure (e.g. the provision of services important to commercial shipping, the development of IT systems designed to link the Arctic with the outside world) is hugely important but often undersupplied due to the influence of free-rider tendencies or a general antipathy to support for infrastructure coming from the public sector. Several of the non-Arctic states, including China, are well-placed to contribute to the development of Arctic infrastructure of value to an array of users.

4.4 Treat the concerns of the Arctic’s permanent residents in a sensitive manner. The concerns of the Arctic’s four million human inhabitants who regard the region as their home require serious consideration. This is particularly true of those who are members of indigenous groups. These peoples, who have resided in the Arctic for generations and who expect to continue to do so into the indefinite future, should be treated as rights-holders rather than simply stakeholders. Initiatives that are insensitive to their concerns are unlikely to prove successful in the long run.

4.5 Strengthen the science/policy interface in order to support the co-production of Arctic knowledge and policy. The Arctic Council’s working groups include many people who have scientific training and who are well-qualified to engage in scientific assessments. What is missing is a strong link between scientific assessments and the activities required to produce new scientific knowledge. One thing that is needed to address this gap is a more productive relationship between the council (and its working groups) and the International Arctic Science Committee, a body that non-Arctic countries like China can belong to and participate in as full members.

V. A Concluding Thought

The dynamism of the Arctic region presents both challenges and opportunities with regard to governance. It is challenging because we cannot count on arrangements created under earlier conditions to meet needs for governance that are emerging now and that are likely to emerge in the coming years. It is easy to imagine a commitment to the status quo in institutional terms leading to the occurrence of serious governance failures. But the situation also presents opportunities. The Arctic governance mosaic has developed rapidly during the post-Cold War era. It has produced surprisingly positive results; the Arctic is today a zone of peace and is likely to remain so, despite the reemergence of East-West tension associated with the conflict over the Ukraine and the concerns emerging in some quarters regarding the implications of China’s rise to the status of a global power. The fact that the Arctic governance system is not embedded in a comprehensive and legally-binding agreement has significant advantages when it comes to meeting the challenge of adapting quickly and effectively to the shifting conditions arising in a region experiencing transformative change.

Source of documents: Global Review

more details:

[①] For an application of the analytic framework associated with the concept of resilience to the Arctic see Arctic Resilience Interim Report 2013, Stockholm: Stockholm Environment Institute/Stockholm Resilience Centre, 2013.
[②] See the essays collected in James Kraska ed., Arctic Security in an Age of Climate Change, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011; Paul A. Berkman and Alexander Vylegzhanin eds., Environmental Security in the Arctic Ocea, Dordrecht: Springer, 2012; and Kristine Offerdal and Rolf Tammes eds., Geopolitics and society in the Arctic, London: Routledge, 2014.
[③] The full text of the agreement signed on the occasion of the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting in Nuuk, Greenland on 12 May 2011 is available at
[④] Full text of the agreement available at
[⑤] For information on this project carried out under the auspices of the council’s Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme, see
[⑥] Paula Kankaanpää and Oran R. Young, “The Effectiveness of the Arctic Council,” Polar Research, Vol. 31, 2012,
[⑦] Oran R. Young, “If an Arctic Ocean Treaty is not the Solution, What is the Alternative?” Polar Record, Vol. 47, Issue 4, 2011, pp. 327-334.
[⑧] Arctic Human Development Report, a report to the Arctic Council. Akureyri: Stefansson Arctic Institute, 2004.
[⑨] There are clear similarities between this notion of an institutional mosaic and the idea of a regime complex that has been a focus of attention in recent literature on international governance. The difference is that a mosaic involves separate arrangements that all deal with a more or less well-defined region, while a complex includes separate arrangements dealing with a common issue domain (e.g. climate change). See Amandine Orsini, Jean-Frederic Morin, and Oran R. Young, “Regime Complexes: A Buzz, a Boom, or a Boost for Global Governance,” Global Governance, Vol. 19, 2013, pp. 27-39.
[⑩] Michael Byers, International Law and the Arctic. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013.
[11] David L. Downie and Terry Fenge eds., Northern Lights against POPs. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2002.
[12] Thomas Axworthy, Timo Koivurova, and Waliul Hasanat eds., The Arctic Council: Its Place in the Future of Arctic Governance. Toronto: Munk School of Global Affairs, 2012.
[13] Anne Fikkan, Gail Osherenko, and Alexander Arikainen, “Polar Bears: The Importance of Simplicity,” in Oran R. Young and Gail Osherenko eds., Polar Politics: Creating International Environmental Regimes, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1993, pp. 96-151.
[14] Elen C. Singh and Artemy A. Saguirian, “The Svalbard Archipelago: The Role of Surrogate Negotiators,” in ibid., pp. 56-95.
[15] Oran R. Young, Jong Deog Kim, and Yoon Hyung Kim eds., The Arctic in World Affairs: A North Pacific Dialogue on the Future of the Arctic, Seoul and Honolulu: Korea Maritime Institute and the East-West Center, 2013.
[16] World Economic Council Global Agenda Council on the Arctic, “Demystifying the Arctic,” January 2014,
[17] The website describes the Arctic Circle as “… a nexus where art intersects with science, architecture, education, and activism”,
[18] Robert O. Keohane and David G. Victor, “The Regime Complex for Climate Change,” Perspectives on Politics, Vol. 9, 2009, pp. 7-23.
[19] AMAP, Arctic Oil and Gas 2007, Oslo: AMAP, 2007; National Research Council, Responding to Oil Spills in the U.S. Arctic Marine Environment, Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2014.
[20] Thus, Art XII(1)(b) states that if any Contracting Party makes such a request “… a Conference of the Contracting Parties shall be held as soon as practicable to review the operation of the Treaty”.
[21] For the text of The Founding Articles of the International Arctic Science Committee, adopted in August 1990, see Among other things, the non-governmental status of IASC makes participation on the part of non-Arctic members comparatively easy. The committee currently has 21 members, the eight Arctic countries and thirteen others.
[22] See Elizabeth C. Economy and Michael Levi, By All Means Necessary: How China’s Resource Quest is Changing the World, New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.