The state and challenges of Arctic governance in an era of transformation

Małgorzata (Gosia) Śmieszek, Oran R. Young, Alf Håkon Hoel, Krittika Singh

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The Arctic plays a central role in the Earth’s climate and an increasingly important role in international relations and politics. As the region undergoes profound transformation due to combined impacts of anthropogenic climate change and global economic forces, new questions of governance come to the forefront of debates about the future of the region. This primer provides an essential overview of these changes as well as of the region’s governance system, which comprises many discrete and interacting elements. Contrary to popular claims, there is no lack of governance in the Arctic, but there are also challenges ahead of it. These challenges, however, are not unique to the circumpolar North and they represent some of the most pressing issues in governing human-environment relations in the Anthropocene. Therefore, lessons from the Arctic will have global relevance, and global experience can help to address the needs of Arctic governance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1665-1670
JournalOne Earth
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2021
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Arctic governance

Field of science

  • Law


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