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The Internationalization of the Circumpolar North: Charting a Course for the 21st Century
by Oran R. Young
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Current Issues
How can existing Arctic governance systems be structured to minimize problems arising from gaps and overlaps?
  If the creation of a comprehensive Arctic regime does not occur during the foreseeable future, it may still be worth investing some time and energy to minimize problems of institutional interplay occurring in this realm. There is nothing unique about this issue; it arises in one form or another with respect to many human endeavors [16]. A number of strategies are available to deal with such matters. One centers on the concept of subsidiarity. It should be easy enough for the Arctic Council, for instance, to leave matters pertaining to whales in the North Atlantic to NAMMCO. Another involves establishing procedures to render authoritative interpretations when the activities of two or more distinct regimes interfere with one another. It is imaginable that the Arctic Council could assume this role, although there may well be opposition to such an essentially statist development among subnational and nonstate actors that are important stakeholders in the Arctic. Yet another strategy involves functional mergers that do not amount to efforts to create a comprehensive regime for the Arctic. The effort now underway on the part of the Arctic Council to devise an integrated approach to environmental protection and sustainable development in the Circumpolar North constitutes an interesting experiment along these lines. Undoubtedly, there will be false starts and even outright failures in efforts to deploy these strategies. Yet it is apparent that there is much work to be done in avoiding gaps and overlaps short of negotiating a constitutional contract for the Arctic.
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The Internationalization of the Circumpolar North: Charting a Course for the 21st Century,
by Oran R. Young.
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