Governability of regional challenges: the Arctic development paradox

Łuszczuk, Michał / Jacqueline Götze / Katarzyna Radzik‐Maruszak / Arne Riedel / Dorothea Wehrmann
External Publications (2022)

in: Politics and Governance 10 (3), 29-40

Open access

The advancement of governance architecture in the Arctic region and dealing with the “Arctic development paradox” have been among the most significant challenges of the circumpolar North for decades. The common denominator of both issues is the growing necessity to frame solutions that credibly and effectively support the Arctic’s social and environmental systems in the face of climate change and globalisation. The current status quo seems deficient, which is why understanding the main impediments is subject to public and academic discussion. This article contributes to these debates by referring to the concept of governability to demonstrate how transregional activities advance the development of more coherent governance in the Arctic. The article explores approaches applied by transregional organisations and cooperation programmes that constitute the governance system in the European Arctic. Specifically, it scrutinises governing interactions developed by the Barents Regional Council and the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme to overcome the normative trap of the Arctic development paradox. This research follows a semi‐structured, exploratory approach, which facilitates identifying key elements of a structurally and conceptually led response that resounds in each case. Combined with a synoptic literature review, this article answers two questions: First, how do the transregional actors approach the Arctic development paradox in their cooperation strategies and programmes, and to what extent do these approaches differ? Second, what kind of recommendations do they provide to overcome the Arctic development paradox?

About the authors

Wehrmann, Dorothea



Götze, Jacqueline

Political Scientist


Further experts

Aleksandrova, Mariya

Climate risk governance 

Brandi, Clara

Economy and Political Science 

Dippel, Beatrice


Donnelly, Aiveen

Politcal Science 

Ekoh, Susan S.

Environmental Research 

Gitt, Florian


Goedeking, Nicholas

Comparative Political Economy 

Haug, Sebastian

Political Science 

Inacio da Cunha, Marcelo

Economics, Geography 

Kachelmann, Matthias

Political Science 

Lehmann, Ina

Political Science 

Li, Hangwei

Political Science 

Malerba, Daniele


Mathis, Okka Lou

Political Scientist 

Morare, Ditebogo Modiegi

Political Science 

Never, Babette

Political Scientist 

Novoselova, Anna

Political Science 

Nowack, Daniel

Political Science 

Olekseyuk, Zoryana


Pegels, Anna


Srigiri, Srinivasa Reddy

Agricultural Economist 

Stewart, Benjamin

Social Science 

Volz, Ulrich


Wingens, Christopher

Political Science