Arctic Ocean Governance

CMM47 Elective Course 4 ECTS
Period 2 weeks 05.10.2020 - 16.10.2020
Instructor Dr. Bradley W. Barr


The course will discuss the history of governance in the Arctic, both the governance of Arctic nations and the international collaborations that have been established to foster coordination among these nations. Specific contemporary governance mechanisms, such as the Arctic Council and more limited sub-regional collaborative bodies, will be discussed and analyzed. Potential future frameworks for Arctic governance will be introduced and evaluated. The special role of Indigenous people of the Arctic in the governance of this region will be highlighted. The course will involve considerable background reading outside class, active participation in discussions, and individual presentations on key issues relevant to class session topics.

Participation in the conference Arctic Circle in Reykjavík is an integrative part of this course. Registration, accommodation and transport to/from Reykjavík is the participants' own responsibility and expense.


On completion of the course, a student:

  • can recall the evolution of governance in the Arctic to the present, as well as the contemporary governance framework in the Arctic. This includes the key participants, their roles, rights and scope of their jurisdiction over Arctic resources and geography.
  • has demonstrated ability in critically evaluating contemporary governance mechanisms established to foster collaboration.
  • can identify and critically evaluate challenges to achieving effective collaboration in the region.
  • can critically evaluate the potential future mechanisms that have been proposed for the Arctic to address and overcome these challenges.
  • has participated in an international conference, Arctic Circle.
  • can present group work and individual work in front of peers.
  • can critically evaluate conference sessions orally in front of peers, relating conference topics to Arctic Ocean Governance.


Bradley W. Barr (USA) earned his BSc from the University of Maine and his MSc in Biology from the University of Massachusetts, and and a Ph.D. from the University of Alaska. He is a Senior Policy Advisor for NOAA/Office of National Marine Sanctuaries in Woods Hole, Massachusetts where he focuses on interagency coordination, maritime heritage in Alaska, ocean wilderness, seabed mapping, enhancing university partnerships, and international collaboration. He sits on the board of directors for several associations: Coastal Zone Canada Association, Science and Management of Protected Areas Association, and George Wright Society.