Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 22

22 Arctic Yearbook 2015 efforts proves very enlightening, and demonstrates the impact of the many contextual differences that exist across this Arctic region. Finally, Gary Wilson and Jeff Kormos provide a case study of political change and self-determination in Chukotka, particularly in the decades since the Soviet Union collapsed. In addition to articulating the challenges and complexities that have affected the economic and political development of Chukotka’s indigenous peoples, the authors provide a much welcomed and needed insight on the local northern governance in Russia, a neglected topic in much of the mainstream Arctic literature. Arctic regional governance Several articles address issues of contemporary concern in regional Arctic governance. Melina Kourantidou, Brooks Kaiser and Linda Fernandez examine the governance structures needed to address marine invasive species. So much of the environmental work occurring in the Arctic is understood only superficially. This articles provides insight into the complexity of the Arctic environmental changes and challenges being spurred by climate change, and the role and variety of existing legal and governance frameworks which future policies must leverage but also conform to. Michal Luszczuk provides, perhaps for the first time, a comparative analysis of the many interparliamentary institutions active in the Arctic region, including the Conference of Arctic Parliamentarians, the Barents Parliamentary Conference, the Nordic Council and the West-Nordic Council. These institutions comprise an important but often overlooked segment of regional Arctic governance, and the article provides a timely evaluation of the histories and mandates of these varied institutions as they expand their level of engagement, and influence, in Arctic issues. Cécile Pelaudeix examines the governance of offshore activities in the Arctic, and the attempts to address tensions between sustainable development and hydrocarbon exploration. The concept of multilevel governance is drawn on to tackle the overlapping competencies, jurisdiction and interactions that mark such offshore activities, and the fundamental differences in history, politics and culture are seen to play a huge role in how the sector is ultimately governed across the Arctic. Focusing on a separate but equally timely issue, Rebecca Pincus examines the state of disaster response in the Arctic. SAR and shipping have featured prominently in recent Arctic regional governance arrangements, and the many unique challenges have been well identified. Pincus argues that the challenge of emergency response in the Arctic comprises a ‘wicked’ policy problem. The article provides much in the way of identifying scenarios that represent real and immediate policy challenges needing to be addressed. Finally, Malgorzata Smieszek and Paula Kankaanpää examine the role of the Arctic Council Chairmanship, a much needed assessment in a sub-field that is generally overlooked and under studied. Drawing on Arctic Council documents, the article provides an overview of the formal responsibilities of the chair, the inevitability of domestic political influence on the role, and the challenges the structure has imposed on the work of the Arctic Council, such as shifting priorities and truncated work plans limited by a two year rotating schedule. Heininen, Exner-Pirot & Plouffe