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2023 | Buch

Arctic Governance Through Conferencing

Actors, Agendas and Arenas

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This book examines the functions of conferences within Arctic governance, as a third dimension between sovereign states and formalized cooperative arrangements. It analyzes conferences against the background of three main empirical topics. Firstly, the functions of conferences for different actor groups, both Arctic rights holders and emerging non-Arctic state actors claiming stakeholder status. From this, the book also analyzes how conferences contribute to altering the actor composition of Arctic governance as a whole. Secondly, conferences as agenda setting arenas – whether conference activities can contribute to influencing the broader agenda in the region, and conferences as arenas for agenda setting – whether participants can bring with them topics that are picked up and brought into other processes. Thirdly, the book considers the space for conferences within broader governance architectures, as links between units in the regime complex.
The book further presents an in-depth case study of the two largest conferences on Arctic issues: the Arctic Frontiers and Arctic Circle Assembly. It illustrates the diverse functions conferences can have for elements within a broader governance system, beyond serving as meeting places and networking arenas. Therefore, it is a must-read for researchers, students, and policy-makers interested in a better understanding of Arctic governance in particular, and International Relations in general.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter
Chapter 1. Introduction
Abstract
This book explores the diverse functions conferences have for actors and entities within a governance system and inquires into the agenda-setting potential of conferences. Focusing on the Arctic regime complex, the book also asks whether and how gatherings where the formal and informal collide can produce governance. This opening chapter introduces the Arctic governance system and governance challenges in the region. It further draws attention to how states, institutions, and organizations are frequently subject to analysis in International Relations and the Arctic governance literature, while the role of conferences has been devoted less attention. This book fills this knowledge gap through a case study of the Arctic Frontiers and Arctic Circle Assembly. The analysis of these conferences focuses on three mechanisms: actors, agenda-setting, and the Arctic governance architecture. The chapter also introduces the theoretical framework, combining neorealism, the multiple streams framework, and regime theory, and presents the research design and empirical data underpinning the study. From this, the book contributes to the scholarly literatures on Arctic governance, international relations, and studies of global conferencing.
Beate Steinveg
Chapter 2. Analytical Framework and Cases
Abstract
This chapter situates the Arctic Frontiers and Arctic Circle Assembly within Arctic governance and international affairs. First, it presents the theoretical framework applied for the analysis of the functions of conferences, consisting of neoliberalism, the multiple streams framework, and regime theory. Second, the chapter draws connections between developments in the Arctic conference realm and central international events and processes. Third, the chapter outlines an ideal model with characteristics of what a conference should accomplish. The remainder of the book discusses the extent to which the Arctic Frontiers and Arctic Circle Assembly fulfill these criteria. Finally, the chapter presents the Arctic Frontiers and the Arctic Circle Assembly in detail, outlining the background and structure of the two conferences, participants and partners, and the strengths and weaknesses of each model for conference organizing. The chapter concludes with remarks about how the different philosophies behind the organization of the two conferences suggests that they create different spaces within Arctic governance and produce different outcomes for actors, as agenda-setting arenas, and within the overall Arctic governance architecture.
Beate Steinveg
Chapter 3. Arctic Governance: Actors, Processes, and Structures
Abstract
This chapter provides an inventory of key actors and arrangements operating in the Arctic, with the purpose of familiarizing readers with the region and portray the governance landscape in which the book situates conferences. The chapter presents the Arctic states and derives their primary interests and priorities in the region from their Arctic policy documents. In addition, non-Arctic states have issued Arctic strategies, which warrants drawing attention also to their interests and priorities in the region. This enables the examination of how conferences can be purposeful arenas for these actors to advance their position and argue for their stakeholder status in the Arctic. Non-governmental entities are also part of the Arctic governance landscape, and the chapter accounts for such entities engaged in the region. Then, particular attention is devoted to the Arctic Council, which is the salient forum for intergovernmental cooperation in the region. A central objective of mapping the governance arrangements in the Arctic is to account for their main objectives, but also what they do not accomplish, to enable the analysis of whether conferences can function as purposeful supplements within the Arctic governance architecture.
Beate Steinveg
Chapter 4. Actors
Abstract
The diverse range of participants attending the Arctic Frontiers and Arctic Circle Assembly makes these arenas a unique global setting where the formal and informal collide. This chapter examines the functions of these conferences for different actors. The analysis is structured around seven participant groups, and the chapter discusses the extent to which conference participation is a means for actors to fulfill their interests and priorities, obtain power or a more prominent position within Arctic affairs. While conferences are not governing arenas, the chapter sheds light on how conferences can be instrumental for people doing governance, as they provide a space for government officials to gain traction for national policies and present their interests in a certain light. The chapter further looks at whether conference engagement is a means for non-Arctic states to advance their claim as legitimate stakeholders in the region. In addition to focusing on individual actor groups, the chapter analyzes whether conferences contribute to changes in the overall actor composition of Arctic governance. Lastly, the chapter brings to light how the divergent philosophies behind the Arctic Frontiers and Arctic Circle Assembly influences their value for different actors.
Beate Steinveg
Chapter 5. Agenda-Setting
Abstract
This chapter focuses on the potential of conferences as agenda-setting instruments. A central question is whether what takes place at conferences reflects general events and processes in Arctic governance or whether conference activities can influence these processes. The chapter accounts for agenda-setting efforts by the organizers of the Arctic Frontiers and Arctic Circle Assembly and connects these to international developments at the time that opened a window of opportunity for these initiatives. The chapter also casts light on how participants can make use of conferences to sell their ideas and gain traction for their priorities, which is a particular key function for the epistemic community. The analysis of the agenda-setting function of conferences is conducted through the multiple streams framework. Three issues are of particular interest: the globalization of the Arctic agenda in the problem stream, the development of ideas with the epistemic community in the policy stream, and coalition building at conferences in the political stream. Lastly, the chapter discusses the advantages and challenges of conferences as agenda-setting arenas and how the difference in organization of the Arctic Frontiers and Arctic Circle Assembly impacts their agenda-setting function.
Beate Steinveg
Chapter 6. The Arctic Governance Architecture
Abstract
This chapter analyzes the overarching governance architecture in which the Arctic Frontiers and Arctic Circle Assembly are taking place. The foremost intention is to examine whether, how, and to what extent conferences influence the governance landscape in which they are situated. Specifically, the chapter inquiries into the functions of conferences as connections among units in the Arctic regime complex, as arenas for the unfolding of both cooperation and contestation, and as constructive forums for addressing emerging governance and societal challenges in the region. The chapter commences by discussing the geopolitical situation in the Arctic, followed by a discussion of the position of Norway and Iceland in the Arctic. This is to further extrapolate how the Arctic Frontiers and Arctic Circle Assembly can serve in the interests of their host states. Then, the chapter looks at conferences as supplements to the Arctic Council and the functions of conferences for other elements in the Arctic governance regime complex. Specifically, the chapter attends to conferences as purposeful for creating synergies in the region, supporting negotiation processes, and contributing to role clarification among other entities. In conclusion, the chapter draws up the space conferences occupy within the Arctic governance architecture.
Beate Steinveg
Chapter 7. Governance by Conference
Abstract
The concluding chapter returns to the ideal model of a conference and discusses the extent to which its characteristics are present at the Arctic Frontiers and Arctic Circle Assembly. The chapter further deliberates on how the Arctic Frontiers and Arctic Circle Assembly can be considered two different models of conference organizing and discusses the different outcomes the two conferences produce within Arctic governance. The concluding chapter summarizes the functions of conferences for actors, conferences as agenda-setting instruments, and the space conferences occupy within the Arctic governance architecture. Conferences are not only arenas for government officials to promote their interests in a favorable light but also supplements to official diplomatic channels and platforms that challenge the state-centric view of international relations. The concluding chapter thus cast light on how conferences are in the intersection of state and non-state and official and unofficial diplomacy. This implies that considering conferences as arenas producing governance can be an empirical enrichment in studies not only of Arctic governance and global conferencing, but also of international relations, democracy, and diplomacy.
Beate Steinveg
Backmatter
Metadaten
Titel
Arctic Governance Through Conferencing
verfasst von
Beate Steinveg
Copyright-Jahr
2023
Electronic ISBN
978-3-031-23332-6
Print ISBN
978-3-031-23331-9
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-23332-6