Policy networks and Arctic governance: Science and Business in Arctic Governance

Organized by: the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) and Fridtjof Nansen Institute (FNI) 11. September 2017

Outcomes of international cooperation are often seen as the result of relations between states. However, Arctic international environmental governance, like global governance elsewhere, is driven forward by policy networks that involve a much larger net of important players.

Friday, October 13, 13:00 - 14:00

Location: Háaloft, Eighth Level

Many popular and academic accounts of Arctic governance acknowledge the important place of non-state actors in identifying Arctic environmental challenges and in negotiating possible regulatory responses at the international level. Yet little rigorous, empirical research has been done on how and when this influence over agenda-setting and decision-making/decision-makers serves to shape regulatory mechanisms. This panel seeks to explore these questions in relation to experts and business actors in a few cases of Arctic governance issues.

The session presents short research previews from the POLGOV project, including a sneak preview of the project’s effort to engage in experimental governance with the ‘Arctic Corporate Responsibility Index’ (ACRI). The ACRI will rank Arctic extractive businesses on various environmental and social indicators, with the hope that reputational gains and visibility can help fill regulatory and enforcement gaps. The brief research previews are followed by a panel discussion. Key themes for panel discussion will be: the role of science and expertise in an age of misinformation? What are the roles played by business and eNGOs in informing or shaping Arctic governance? How democratic are policy networks – and should they be more so?


  • Svein Rottem, FNI: Policy networks and oil spill prevention
  • Christian Prip, FNI: Policy networks and Arctic biodiversity
  • Leif Jensen, FNI: Policy networks – comparison to Antarctica
  • Indra Overland, NUPI: Arctic Corporate Responsibility Index


  • Martin Sommerkorn, Head of Conservation, WWF Arctic Programme
  • Emma Wilson, Scott Polar Research Institute/ECW Consulting
  • Anatoli Bourmistov, High North Centre for Business, Nord University
  • Michael Denison, Group Political Advisor, BP


Elana Wilson Rowe (NUPI)