Jindal Global Law Review

REFRAMING THE ARCTIC GOVERNANCE AND ASIAN COUNTRIES

VOLUME 8, ISSUE 1, 2017

Issue Editors: S.G. Sreejith, Kamrul Hossain

Editor's Introduction: Reframing Arctic governance and the Asian states
S.G. Sreejith and Kamrul Hossain (PDF)

ARTICLES

1. Governing the Arctic: Is the Arctic council going global?
     Kamrul Hossain and Marija  Mihejeva
     Article (PDF) | Abstract


This article explores the possibility for an Arctic Council (AC) that would a have global voice, achieved through multilateral engagements. The number of observers, including non-Arctic states, has grown robustly in recent years, yet the structure of the Council does not allow for an increase in its membership. The present structure does not afford particularly extensive engagement for actors other than members, a shortcoming which hampers “effective inclusiveness” and a global orientation. We examine the roles and functions of the AC, as well as its structural expansions, to identify gaps that could be filled by accommodating multilateralism in its structure. Improvements in the position of the non-Arctic states as observers were proposed in 2015 in the addendum to Observer Manual 2013, signalling a willingness on the part of the Council to accommodate the voices of other actors. We argue that this trend will spark a trend enabling greater engagement by global actors. In assessing the future direction of the Council, we argue that what he have termed “effective inclusiveness” would offer a suitable mechanism for governing a globalized Arctic and thus making the AC a stronger global forum, one in which actions achieve greater global legitimacy.
Hossain, K. & Mihejeva, M. Jindal Global Law Review (2017) 8: 7. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41020-017-0044-0.

 

2. India and the Arctic: Revisionist aspirations, Arctic realities
     P. Whitney Lackenbauer
    Article (PDF) | Abstract


India has divergent views about circumpolar affairs. One dominant view holds that the region is a “global commons,” rather than the preserve of the Arctic coastal states with their narrow national interests, and that India should lead international efforts to preserve the Arctic environment and freeze out resource development and militarization (akin to the Antarctic model)—in short, a Polar Preserve narrative. Another view suggests that geostrategic dynamics and weak governance point to a growing Arctic Race that threatens to undermine regional (and even global) peace and security. Accordingly, some commentators argue that India, as a strong advocate of nuclear disarmament, should push for a demilitarized and nuclear-free Arctic. Others frame India’s interests in the context of regional rivalries, particularly with China, and potential impacts on Indian security from the “new Great Game” emerging in the Arctic. Another emerging Indian narrative argues that India should avoid the role of a “revisionist actor” and, instead, can benefit from engaging in established governance fora like the Arctic Council, improving its understanding of emerging Arctic political, economic, and strategic dynamics, and partnering with Arctic states on science and resource development. This narrative situates India in an emerging Arctic Saga, where enhanced cooperation and coordination with Arctic states (particularly Norway and Russia) can serve India’s national and international interests—and those of the world’s inhabitants more generally.
Whitney Lackenbauer, P. Jindal Global Law Review (2017) 8: 23. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41020-017-0040-4.

 

3. China’s emerging Arctic policy: What are the implications for Arctic governance?
     Nengye Liu
     Article (PDF) | Abstract


This article examines China’s Arctic policy and its possible implications for Arctic governance. The paper first explains why China needs an Arctic policy and how this policy came into being. The article then sheds light on the content of China’s Arctic policy. The paper concludes that though it intends to play a more active role in Arctic governance, China is likely to be a collaborative rather than a challenging partner. This is evidenced by China’s behavior in the development of the Polar Code within the International Maritime Organization and the negotiations on regulating fisheries in the high seas portions of the central Arctic Ocean.
Liu, N. Jindal Global Law Review (2017) 8: 55. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41020-017-0041-3.

 

4. Arctic policy of the North East Asian countries
     Viatcheslav Gavrilov and Alexandra Kripakova
      Article (PDF) | Abstract


While the significance of the Arctic is increasing in the modern world, the international community is facing some challenging tasks, which nowadays determine the essence and main areas of cooperation between the Arctic States and other interested actors in the region. The most important among them lies in determining basic characteristics of the multilateral governance of the Arctic and in improving mechanisms and procedures that already exist within the Arctic Council and other regional institutions and are intended to ensure its effective implementation. It is impossible to complete those tasks without determining the role and significance of non-Arctic States in shaping and implementing the Arctic agenda, the importance of which goes far beyond that region. Of utmost interest in that regard are the countries of North East Asia (China, Japan and South Korea), which in 2013 gained observer status in the Arctic Council as a result of which it now wields considerable influence over the Arctic Council. Therefore, the main goal of this article is to determine prerequisites for the formation, analysis of the current state and of the future development of the Arctic policy of China, Japan and South Korea as well as for the study of the possibility of their cooperation in that direction. Moreover, the paper provides a description of current opportunities of non-Arctic States to participate in institutional and rule-making mechanisms of the Arctic governance and analyses the impact that those countries have on increasing the efficiency of that process.
Gavrilov, V. & Kripakova, A. Jindal Global Law Review (2017) 8: 69. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41020-017-0039-x.

 

5. Walking the walk: Science diplomacy and identity-building in Asia-Arctic relations
     Marc Lanteigne
     Article (PDF) | Abstract


In the period immediately before and after being admitted to the Arctic Council as formal observers in 2013, five states in the Asia-Pacific, namely China, India, Japan, Singapore and South Korea, were faced with the difficult task of demonstrating their commitment to engaging with the Arctic region in many areas of development and governance, while also dispelling concerns from the Arctic states that their interest in the circumpolar north was being guided solely by economic and strategic interests. Faced with these challenges, the “Asia-Arctic Five” (AA5) opted to pursue expanded “scientific diplomacy” in the Arctic, including constructing research bases and exploration vessels, as well as developing scientific cooperation with Arctic governments and other local actors. These endeavours have been varied but largely successful, but pressure remains on the five states to continue to demonstrate their Arctic identities even as they deepen their economic interests in the region.
Lanteigne, M. Jindal Global Law Review (2017) 8: 87. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41020-017-0043-1.

 

6. The role of China in the Arctic: Challenges and Opportunities for a sustainable development of the region
     Giuseppe Amatulli
     Article (PDF) | Abstract


The interest of China in the Arctic Region is by now unveiled and evident to the totality of the stakeholders dealing with Arctic issues. Although such interest is quite recent (it traces back to the beginning of the new millennium), China has clear idea about the potentialities of the Arctic Region in terms of natural resources as well as regarding the profitability of shipping through the Northern Sea Route. In this context, the admission of China in the Arctic Council with the role of observer should be considered as a shift in the way in which Arctic issues are perceived by Arctic countries: from a regional dimension to a global one. Having the possibility to seat in the Council will give to China the opportunity to play a key role in participating in the definition of Arctic-related policies in the near future. Anyhow, if China wants to play a real key-role in the Arctic, while acting as a responsible global power, it must address some issues still unsolved in its national framework, precisely: recognising the existence of indigenous people within its national borders and ensuring them the enjoyment of their rights (in so doing, China will be ready to recognise the particular features and needs of indigenous people living in the Arctic) and defining a comprehensive Arctic strategy in which sustainable development is put at the top of the agenda.
Amatulli, G. Jindal Global Law Review (2017) 8: 103. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41020-017-0042-2

 

BOOK REVIEW

7. Arctic law and governance: The role of China and Finland (2017)
     Mia M. Bennett
     Article (PDF) | Abstract


This book review considers Arctic Law and Governance: The Role of China and Finland, a new volume edited by Timo Koivurova, Tianbao Qin, Tapio Nykänen, and Sebastien Duyck. The book represents the culmination of a joint project between researchers from the University of Lapland, Finland and Wuhan University, China. In the volume, the Arctic policies of China, Finland, and the European Union are compared. Special attention is given to maritime sovereignty, science, marine conservation and management, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Svalbard Treaty, and the Arctic Council. Overall, the volume presents a rich, detailed account of China’s activities in the Arctic, though the chapters by the Chinese authors tend to be somewhat less analytical than those by the European contributors. The case for comparing China with Finland and the European Union is not always wholly convincing, but the reader is ultimately left with an understanding of how cooperation could arise in the Arctic between these three unlikely partners in two shared areas of interest: development of Arctic resources and transportation. Such work is valuable, for it demonstrates that the aims of Arctic and non-Arctic stakeholders are not necessarily at odds simply due to differences in geography.
Bennett, M.M. Jindal Global Law Review (2017) 8: 111. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41020-017-0038-y.