in: Nikolas Sellheim / Dwayne Ryan Menezes (eds.), Non-state actors in the Arctic region, Cham: Springer Nature, 113-131
Non-governmental actors perform an important role in the functioning of democracy. However, they are often perceived as being less tied to its principles as they are not fully controlled by democratic procedures and institutions. This chapter focuses on transnational alliances between cities in the European Arctic as a special kind of non-governmental actors. Different to other non-governmental actors, the collaborating actors are here elected representatives. But do such alliances have a greater authority in Arctic politics? The purpose of this chapter is twofold: First, it introduces the Nordic model of local self-government to discuss public participation in Arctic cities and the possibilities and hindrances of stakeholders to inform policy-making processes in the context of Arctic urban development. Second, this chapter seeks to assess in how far city-alliances – like the Arctic Mayors’ Forum (AMF) – as a specific kind of non-governmental actors have a unique say in Arctic politics at the national, regional, and local levels. It further investigates in how far such alliances can be perceived as actors that are crucial to enhance more coherent policy-making in the Arctic. This chapter is based on a transdisciplinary approach that considers legal challenges and the power/knowledge nexus in policy-making.