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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
What is the proper relationship between international institutions and organizations in the Arctic?

  A striking feature of the recent proliferation of efforts to enhance international cooperation in the high northern latitudes is the seemingly haphazard mix of institutions and organizations that has emerged in the region. There are organizations (e.g. the Northern Forum) that have sprung up as freestanding bodies without any discernible link to institutional arrangements. By contrast, there are institutions (e.g. the polar bear regime) that have functioned in the region for some time with virtually no associated organizations to handle administrative functions. Even more important, there are major initiatives such as the Arctic Council in which there is a considerable ambiguity or even outright confusion regarding the proper balance between institutions and organizations. There is no simple formula to follow in this realm. Organizations can spawn regimes, just as the creation of regimes can give rise to a growing need for organizations to administer them. Nonetheless, the current situation in the Arctic regarding this matter is problematic; it is on its way toward becoming a source of significant misunderstanding among those concerned with international cooperation in the region. Although the occurrence of this situation is perfectly understandable as a result of the rapid growth of interest in international cooperation in the Circumpolar North, a concerted effort to review and sort out the proper roles of institutions and organizations is in order during the near future.
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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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