Nordia Geographical Publications (Jan 2011)

Institutions and stability: the Arctic case

  • Alyson JK Bailes

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 40, no. 4


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Institutions can serve stability by what they are, as well as by what they do in various ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ security dimensions. A typical region today has a complex of institutions sharing burdens vertically and horizontally, and non-state actors may also play significant roles. The Arctic has enjoyed stability thanks to its natural conditions and overall strategic balance, but the Arctic Council and other groups – both larger and smaller – have helped by adopting an inclusive, low-key and non-constraining approach. As the region’s underlying characteristics change through global warming, the question is how far existing institutions’ roles can be expanded and what, if any, further inputs may be needed.