Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 14

14 Arctic Yearbook 2015 Governance is considered here as numerous principles, objectives and meanings that create the space in which actors will implement ideas, policies and institutions and/or institutional arrangements in a way to achieve collectively decided objectives. Arctic Yearbook 2015 therefore seeks to map some patterns of various interrelationships and interdependences in the Arctic by looking at how (multi-faceted) governance structures have emerged, are negotiated, influenced and organized in a way to address cross-border and transnational problems and opportunities. Governing is understood here as a set of, and a practice by, different private or public actors engaged in the development and implementation (or operationalization) of governance (structures and mechanism) through various actions and instruments. They are the makers and doers of governance in which various actors are engaged: public and/or private individuals, organizations and institutions (actors) that develop and implement governance frameworks that are established and structured by normative constraints and opportunities in different regional contexts and contingencies. The interplay between governance and governing occurs at a variety of levels in the Arctic including:       Local – e.g. municipal (Barrow, Troms, Akureyri), indigenous (Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association, Yellowknives Dene First Nation, Kativik Regional Government); Sub-national – e.g. self-governing constituencies (Greenland, Faroe Islands), territories (Yukon, NWT, Nunavut), states (Alaska), republics (Yakutsk, Komi, Karelia), provinces (Québec), and counties (Lapland, Norbotten); National – e.g. states (Canada, Kingdom of Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway, Russian Federation, Sweden, United States); Sub-Regional – e.g. Barents Euro Arctic Council, Arctic Five, West Nordic Council, Inuit Circumpolar Council, Saami Council; Regional – e.g. Arctic Council, Northern Forum, Arctic Military Environmental Cooperation Program; International – e.g. International Maritime Organization (IMO), UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (UNCLOS). Most stakeholders will tend to view the governance level nearest to their interests and everyday life as the most important. But what is unique in the Arctic is the extent to which these various levels intersect and interact. In addition there are a variety of circumpolar non-governmental actors who often communicate, influence or participate in the process of policy development and implementation. It has often been remarked that the epistemic community on the Arctic is particularly influential and engaged, for better and for worse, and includes media outlets, academic networks, and environmental and social NGOs. We chose the theme “Governance and Governing” to build awareness of and address the nuances of governance in the Arctic region, and the impacts of different histories, cultures, constraints and values. It is easy for the casual non-Northern observer to imagine the Arctic as a singular, international, region, governed by the Arctic Council. But this represents only a sliver of what is required and conducted. Heininen, Exner-Pirot & Plouffe