Elana Wilson Rowe
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A power perspective on Arctic governance

This chapter introduces the conceptual approach of the book. The chapter argues that by examining relations of deference, plumbing episodes of controversy, and highlighting the quiet ‘work’ of various kinds involved in sustaining and expanding cooperation in the Arctic, one can appreciate how cooperation is a dynamic state of affairs in the Arctic and undergirded by power relations. Acknowledging the exercise of power without positing the existence of open conflict allows us to consider how Arctic cooperation is constantly shored up through various kinds of context-specific performances, and through broached and resolved contestations, rather than a static output of stale agreement. The chapter also introduces the conceptualisation of the Arctic utilised in the book – that of an interlinked ecosystem of policy fields that differ in their reach and focus. Subsequent chapters and the specific propositions about power relations that they explore – namely representation, hierarchy, norms and authority – are also introduced.

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Arctic governance

Power in cross-border Cooperation


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