Reid Lidow

This paper explores the history behind today’s Arctic governance architecture, potential areas for realignments, and the analytical efficacy of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as a guiding analogue. Calling upon a vast body of scholarly work on Arctic governing regimes, the author identifies weaknesses and voids limiting the ability of Arctic states and, most critically, the Arctic Council as the governing nucleus, from harnessing historic regional momentum. Grounded by international relations theories on regionalism, regional security, functionalism, and international law, the paper serves to instruct both the international affairs scholar and the regional policy-maker. Where previous papers have looked to the Circumpolar South and the Antarctic Treaty System as an analogue, the author instead finds value in the ASEAN analogue and the parallel structures, actions, and passions therein. The paper closes with various policy prescriptions for the Arctic Council in cooperation with Arctic states, indigenous peoples, and the region’s vibrant epistemic community. The author’s analysis seeks to answer this paper’s guiding question: Considering the region’s history alongside existing governing structures, what is the most instructive analogue to guide further regional integration in the Arctic and how can these lessons be best applied?

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