Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 240

240 Arctic Yearbook 2014 here, the evidence suggests that decisions made in Nuuk do not necessarily align with the aims and objectives of the public at large. This concerns not only Greenlandic development strategy that seeks to attract foreign investment as a means of generating economic stability; it also underscores the fundamental value of participatory democracy. At the crossroads of economic development and democracy, public participation plays a critical role in establishing the direction desired by the Greenlandic people at large. As Sen (1999: 158) suggests, “a more informed and less marginalized public discussion of environmental issues may not only be good for the environment; it could also be important to the health and functioning of the democratic system itself.” Without open and informed public debate the future of Greenland will remain in the hands of an educated elite whose views on economic development may not in the long run benefit the society as a whole. On the other hand, community-based decision making combined with a nationwide debate on the overarching risks and benefits of subsurface resource extraction could lead to comprehensive strategy that takes a holistic approach to the political, economic and social freedoms that comprise a democracy. Greenland is without doubt a well functioning democracy, but as we have seen democracy is often messy even in the oldest of democratic nations. The future is yet to be seen, but one can readily assume that Greenland’s future will be the source of increasingly robust debate. Acknowledgements I want to thank my anonymous reviewers for their encouraging remarks. Your comments were gratifying in a manner far beyond their intended purpose. Thank you. References Act on Greenland Self-Rule 2009. (GL). Arctic Journal. (2013a, October 10). Vox populi. Retrieved on May 23, 2014 from Arctic Journal. (2013b, November 5). ICC Greenland shocked at proposed funding cuts. Retrieved on May 23, 2014 from Bridge, G., Le Billon, P. (2013). Oil. Cambridge: Polity Press. CIA. The World Fact Book: Greenland. Retrieved September 15, 2014, from Dahl, J. (1986). Greenland: Political structure of self-government. Arctic Anthropology, 23(1/2), 315-324. Dingman