Governing Complexity in the Arctic Region: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Governing Complexity in the Arctic Region

1st Edition

By Mathieu Landriault, Andrew Chater, Elana Wilson Rowe, P. Whitney Lackenbauer


160 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367280772
pub: 2019-11-25
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This book examines emerging forms of governance in the Arctic region, exploring how different types of state and non-state actors promote and support rules and standards.

The authors argue that confining our understandings of Arctic governance to Arctic states and a focus on the Arctic Council as the primary site of circumpolar governance provides an incomplete picture. Instead, they embrace the complexity of governance in the Arctic by systematically analyzing and comparing the position, interventions, and influence of different actor groups seeking to shape Arctic political and economic outcomes in multiple sites of Arctic politics, both formal and informal.This book assesses the potential that sub-national governments, corporations, civil society organizations, Indigenous peoples and non-Arctic states possess to develop norms and standards to ensure a stable, rule-based Arctic region.

It will be of interest to all scholars and students working in the fields of Arctic Sovereignty, Security Studies, Global Governance and International Political Economy.


"These respected Arctic scholars provide valuable insights into the complexity of the timely and important subject of Arctic governance, providing thoughtful discussions of the political, economic, legal and cultural dimensions of governance at local, subnational, national and regional levels." - Elizabeth Riddell-Dixon, professor emerita, Western University, Canada.

"Governing Complexity in the Arctic Region" is a must-read for anyone interested in Arctic issues. It gives the reader an excellent introduction to how different actors have shaped the "new" Arctic agenda." - Dr. Svein Vigeland Rottem, Senior research fellow, Fridtjof Nansen Institute, Norway.

"As a scholar who has written extensively on the process of providing a framework for governance in the northern circumpolar region, I find that their recent undertaking offers a useful consideration of the issues and problems involved. They are knowledgeable of the Arctic region and its present needs. Their work gets at the heart of the challenges and opportunities that confront those who engage in diplomacy and paradiplomacy within the circumpolar arena." - Douglas C. Nord, Professor, Umeå University, Sweden.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 –Arctic States and Regional Governance

Chapter 2 - Regional Governance of Arctic Ocean: The Arctic-Five (A5) and the Arctic 5+5

Chapter 3 - From international to regional: Sub-national units in Arctic governance

Chapter 4 - Civil Society in Arctic Governance: Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations, Observers, and Arctic Residents

Chapter 5 - Private Sector Actors and Arctic Governance

Conclusion - Governing Complexity in the Arctic: Past, Present, Future

About the Authors

Mathieu Landriault (PhD, 2013, University of Ottawa) is the director of the Observatoire de la Politique et la Sécurité de L’Arctique (OPSA), based in Montreal. He currently teaches at the School of Political Studies at the University of Ottawa as well as at the School of Conflict Studies at Saint Paul University. He is also an associate researcher at the Center for Interuniversity Research on the International Relations of Canada and Quebec (CIRRICQ). He is researching Arctic security, sovereignty, and governance issues in the circumpolar region in general and the Canadian Arctic in particular, as well as Arctic paradiplomacy.

Andrew Chater (PhD, 2016, Western University) is an assistant professor (limited term) at Brescia University College. He is also a fellow at Polar Research and Policy Initiative and the 2019 Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Arctic Studies at the University of Washington. He is researching Arctic governance and Canadian foreign policy in the Arctic. Recent publications have appeared in The Canadian Journal of Communication, The Northern Review, International Organisation Research Journal and Strategic Analysis.

Elana Wilson Rowe (PhD, 2006, Cantab) is a Research Professor at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI). She is also an adjunct professor at the High North Centre for Business and Governance at Nord University (Bodø). Wilson Rowe has authored articles on the politics of expertise in global governance, Russian foreign and northern policies and climate change negotiations. She is the author of Arctic Governance: Power in Cross-Border Co-operation (2018), and Russian Climate Politics: When Science Meets Politics (2013).

P. Whitney Lackenbauer (PhD, 2004, University of Calgary) is the Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in the Study of the Canadian North at Trent University, Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel of 1st Canadian Ranger Patrol Group, co-director of the Centre on Foreign Policy and Federalism, and co-editor of the Documents on Canadian Arctic Sovereignty and Security (DCASS) series. His recent books include China’s Arctic Ambitions and What They Mean for Canada (co-author 2018), Canadian Armed Forces Arctic Operations, 1945-2015: Historical and Contemporary Lessons Learned (co-editor 2017), and Le Canada et l’Arctique (co-author 2017).

About the Series

The International Political Economy of New Regionalisms Series

The International Political Economy of New Regionalisms Series
The International Political Economy of New Regionalisms Series presents innovative analyses of a range of novel regional relations and institutions. Going beyond established, formal, interstate economic organizations, this essential series provides informed interdisciplinary and international research and debate about myriad heterogeneous intermediate-level interactions. Reflective of its cosmopolitan and creative orientation, this series is developed by an international editorial team of established and emerging scholars in both the South and North. It reinforces ongoing networks of analysts in both academia and think-tanks as well as international agencies concerned with micro-, meso- and macro-level regionalisms.

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