Arctic Futures: The Power of Ideas

Conference paper
Part of the NATO Science for Peace and Security Series C: Environmental Security book series (NAPSC)

Abstract

That the Arctic is experiencing transformative change is no longer news. But what are the implications of this development with regard to matters of governance and policy? This article makes the case that the answer to this question depends on the paradigm or discourse we employ as a conceptual framework for interpreting the meaning and significance of changes in the circumpolar Arctic. It contrasts interpretations produced by observers whose thinking is rooted in the neo-realist/geopolitical paradigm with those offered by others whose thinking rests on a socio-ecological systems paradigm. Although journalists and popular writers tend to gravitate toward the neo-realist/geopolitical paradigm, those who possess a more intimate knowledge of recent developments in the Arctic are inclined to base their thinking on the socio-ecological systems paradigm. Because the assumptions and precepts of paradigms or discourses are not falsifiable, it is fruitless to try to demonstrate that one of the two paradigms is somehow superior to the other. Nevertheless, for those dedicated to preserving the Arctic as a zone of peace, the socio-ecological systems paradigm has strong attractions.

Keywords

Methane Hydrate Arctic Council Multilevel Governance Popular Writer Great Game 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Literature Cited

  1. 1.
    Arctic Governance Project (AGP) (2010) Arctic governance in an era of transformative change: critical questions, governance principles, ways forward. http://img9.custompublish.com/getfile.php/1219555.1529.wyaufxvxuc/AGP+Report+April+14+2010[1].pdf?return=arcticgovernance.custompublish.com. Accessed 20 Aug 2011Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Anderson A (2009) After the ice: life, death, and geopolitics in the New Arctic. Smithsonian Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Arctic Council (2011) Agreement on cooperation on aeronautical and maritime search and rescue in the Arctic. Arctic Council Meeting, Nuuk. http://arctic-council.org/filearchive/Arctic_SAR_Agreement_EN_FINAL_for_signature_21-Apr-2011.pdf. Accessed 20 Aug 2011
  4. 4.
    Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy (1991) Declaration on the protection of the Arctic essnvironment, Rovaniemi. http://arctic-council.org/filearchive/artic_environment.pdf. Accessed 20 Aug 2011
  5. 5.
    Berkes F, Colding J, Folke C (2000) Rediscovery of traditional ecological knowledge as adaptive management. Ecol Appl 10:1251–1262. http://institutionalorganizationalecologies.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/trad-knowledge-adaptive-management.pdf. Accessed 20 Aug 2011Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Borgerson S (2008) Arctic meltdown: the economic and security implications of global warning. Foreign Aff 87:63–77. http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/63222/scott-g-borgerson/arctic-meltdown. Accessed 20 Aug 2011Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Borgerson S (2009) The great game moves north: as the Arctic melts, countries vie for control. Foreign Aff. http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/64905/scott-g-borgerson/the-great-game-moves-north. Accessed 20 Aug 2011
  8. 8.
    Bull H (1977) The anarchical society. A study of order in world politics. Macmillan, LondonGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Byers M (2009) Who owns the Arctic? Understanding sovereignty disputes in the north. Douglas and McIntyre, VancouverGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Chapin FS, Kofinas GP, Folke C (eds) (2009) Principles of ecosystem stewardship. Resilience-based natural resource management in a changing world. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Crutzen P (2002) Geology of mankind: the Anthropocene. Nature 415:23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Emmerson C (2010) The future history of the Arctic. The Bodley Head, LondonGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Fairhall D (2010) Cold front. Conflict ahead in Arctic waters. I.B. Tauris, LondonGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Gorbachev M (1987) Speech in Murmansk at the ceremonial meeting on the occasion of the presentation of the Order of Lenin and the Gold Star to the City of Murmansk. http://www.barentsinfo.fi/docs/Gorbachev_speech.pdf. Accessed 24 Aug 2011
  15. 15.
    Gunderson L, Holling CS (eds) (2002) Panarchy: understanding transformations in human and natural systems. Island Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Howard R (2009) The Arctic gold rush. The new race for tomorrow’s natural resources. Continuum, London/New YorkGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Heubert R (2010) The transforming Arctic: a region of conflict or cooperation? In: Presentation at the symposium on Arctic Ocean Governance, School of Public Policy, University of Tokyo, TokyoGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Keohane RO, Victor DG (2011) The regime complex for climate change. Perspect Polit 9:7–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Leopold A (1949) Anthropocene and county Almanac. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Litfin KT (1994) Ozone discourses. Science and politics in global environmental cooperation. Columbia University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    McLeod KL, Leslie HM (eds) (2009) Ecosystem-based management for the oceans. Island Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Meadows DH (2008) Thinking in systems. A primer. Chelsea Green Publishing, White River JunctionGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Norway-Russia Treaty (2010) Treaty between the Kingdom of Norway and the Russian Federation concerning maritime delimitation and cooperation in the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean. http://www.regjeringen.no/upload/SMK/Vedlegg/2010/avtale_engelsk.pdf. Accessed 24 Aug 2011
  24. 24.
    Osherenko G, Young OR (1989) The age of the Arctic. Hot conflicts and cold realities. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Ottawa Declaration (1996) Declaration on the establishment of the Arctic Council. http://www.international.gc.ca/polar-polaire/ottdec-decott.aspx?view=d. Accessed 20 Aug 2011
  26. 26.
    Peterson DL, Johnson DR (eds) (1995) Human ecology and climate change: people and resources in the far north. Taylor and Francis, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Putin V (2010) Speech at the international Arctic Conference organized by the Russian Geographical Society, Moscow, 23 Sept 2010. http://premier.gov.ru/eng/events/news/12304/. Accessed 20 Aug 2011
  28. 28.
    Sale R, Potapov E (2010) The scramble for the Arctic. Ownership, exploitation and conflict in the far north. Frances Lincoln, LondonGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Selin H, VanDeveer SD (eds) (2009) Changing climates in North American politics: institutions, policymaking, and multilevel governance. MIT Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Time (2007) Who owns the Arctic? Cover story. Time Magazine, 1 Oct 2007. http://www.time.com/time/covers/0,16641,20071001,00.html. Accessed 20 Aug 2011
  31. 31.
    Vitousek PM, Mooney HA, Lubchenco J, Melillo JM (1997) Human domination of earth’s ecosystems. Science 277:494–499CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Walker B, Salt D (2006) Resilience thinking: sustaining ecosystems and people in a changing world. Island Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    UNCLOS (1982) United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. http://www.un.org/Depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/closindx.htm. Accessed 20 Aug 2011

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institutional and International Governance, Bren School of Environmental Science and ManagementUniversity of CaliforniaSanta BarbaraUSA

Personalised recommendations