Abstract

The governance architecture in the Arctic region is subject to broad public and academic debate. Existing governance arrangements are not considered sufficient to minimize risks and impacts from Arctic offshore oil activities. These governance arrangements are fragmented between law of the sea norms, numerous regulatory conventions, and non-legally binding guidelines produced by the Arctic Council, an informal body of the eight Arctic states. While the benign form of cooperative fragmentation seems to prevail, specific governance challenges exist. The nature of these governance challenges and political feasibility considerations suggest an enabling joint management approach for the architecture of Arctic governance.