Creating a Safe Operating Space for Business: The Changing Role of Arctic Governance

  • Annika E. Nilsson
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Science and Technology book series (PSHST)


This chapter provides an analysis of the discourses that shaped the international cooperation in the Arctic Council when it consolidated its role as an organization at the centre of Arctic governance. With an empirical focus on how Arctic national strategies and Arctic Council documents discuss “security” and “sustainable development,” the chapter highlights a shift away from an environmental focus to increasing emphasis on how to best support economic development. This shift is mirrored in the Arctic Council’s Kiruna Vision from 2013, where a “safe Arctic” with peace, stability and cooperation is assumed to spur economic development. Paraphrasing the idea that political ambitions relating to environmental change should focus on ensuring safe operating space for humanity, this chapter summarizes the development as creating a safe operating space for business.


Arctic Council Safe operating space Security Business Governance 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Annika E. Nilsson
    • 1
  1. 1.Stockholm Environment Institute and KTH Royal Institute of TechnologyStockholmSweden

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