Arctic Review on Law and Politics
Vol. 14, , pp. 13

Welcome to an Exciting and Demanding New Year

Faculty of Law, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway

© 2023 Øyvind Ravna. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons CC-BY 4.0 License. eISSN 2387-4562. .

Citation: . “Welcome to an Exciting and Demanding New Year” Arctic Review on Law and Politics, Vol. 14, , pp. 13.

The year of 2023 and Volume 14 of the Arctic Review has just started. At the same time, Europe, its neighboring continents, and the Circumpolar North have entered an exciting and demanding new year. Perhaps more exciting and demanding than we would have wished for, as we are also entering the second year of war in Europe this millennium. In addition to the suffering the madness of this war is causing the people of Ukraine, it has also raised a diverse picture of problems for European civil society. Among these are a number of legal and political issues related to, among other things, human rights, international law, indigenous peoples’ law, maritime law, and the law related to the High North.

Arctic Review on Law and Politics is a forum for discussing and elaborating on academic knowledge that sheds light on ongoing developments. This can be human rights issues related to the global situation caused by the war, legal issues affecting the northern sphere, or issues related to natural resources and resource extraction.

Human rights challenges also take place outside the war zone. Substantial interferences in the lives, livelihoods and other cultural practices of minorities can represent human rights violations, or as the UN Human Rights Committee recently put it; then Article 27 of the ICCPR, interpreted in the light of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, “establishes the inalienable right of indigenous peoples to enjoy the territories and natural resources that they have traditionally used for their livelihood and cultural identity”.1 Here, Norway, which was found to have violated Sámi rights to reindeer husbandry by allowing the construction of two wind power plants on reindeer pastures in the 2021 Fosen case, has not dealt with international human rights in a proper manner. This is particularly the case since the violations have still not been repaired.

Themes that discuss and analyze the protection of the human rights of indigenous peoples and minorities, particularly in the northern sphere, are also most welcome by Arctic Review.

In this first release of articles in 2023, we are pleased to offer our readers five highly relevant articles, the first three are original peer reviewed papers, while the following two belong to the category news and debate. Bernt Arne Bertheussen at UiT the Arctic University of Norway, the School of Business and Economics, presents the article “Perspectives on Rent Generation and Rent Appropriation in Fisheries”, where he surveys the highly relevant topic of rent in natural resource-based industries, where the Norwegian fish harvesting industry is used to illustrate the arguments. The author argues that the industry-specific institutional framework of the fish harvesting industry positively affects the competitive forces of the industry, and thereby its economic performance.

Björn Gunnarsson, Nord University, Centre for High North Logistics, Business School, Norway, and Frédéric Lasserre, Laval University, Department of Geography, Canada, present the article “Supply chain control and strategies to reduce operational risk in Russian extractive industries along the Northern Sea Route”. In the paper, the authors examine how the extractive companies have built-up enhanced supply chain resilience and transport reliability to mitigate risks, arguing that the companies have taken control over their supply chains and adopted several precautionary and innovative logistics measures designed to prevent or mitigate disruption to their supply chains. Western sanctions on Russia, related to the war in Ukraine, will slow down the pace of future Russian projects in the Arctic, but the sanctions are likely to increase the future significance of export terminals on the Northern Sea Route, as the preferred departure points for Russian Arctic commodities on their way to market destinations.

Maria Hammer, UiT the Arctic University of Norway, Department of Technology and Safety, presents the article “Lost in Translation – Following the Ecosystem Approach from Malawi to the Barents Sea”. Through a thorough study of documents, the author follows the trajectories of the idea of Ecosystem Approach, from its first practical application in the United States in the 1980s and 90s, through its travels in different United Nations fora, to its final local implementation in the 2006 Norwegian Barents Sea Management Plan. The novelty of this study is that the analysis covers a long timeframe combined with a focus on all of the different steps of translation combined. The results show that changes made to the original idea change to such an extent over time that what is finally implemented is something quite different from the original idea, and more like “business as usual”.

In addition to the three peer-reviewed articles, we can present two very topical debate articles. The first is authored by Ekaterina Zmyvalova, Umeå University, Sweden, and deals with “The Rights of Indigenous Peoples of Russia after Military Mobilization”. The article, which is a response to the call for papers focusing on the war in Ukraine and its effect on different aspects of life in the Arctic, sheds light on the consequences of Russia’s military mobilization on the rights of Indigenous peoples, announced by President Putin on September 21, 2022. The next article, which is also highly topical and a response to the same call for papers, is written by Pauline Baudu and entitled “Minding the archipelago: What Svalbard means to NATO”. The starting point for the author is that although the NATO’s High North engagement has been a matter of debate for a long time, the invasion of Ukraine by Russia and its strategic implications at the global level, have dragged a reunified NATO into the Arctic as a fait accompli. The article highlights that NATO should consider the security concerns specific to Svalbard when pondering its High North involvement and highlights two elements that should be factored in the Alliance’s strategic and operational thinking over the archipelago.

For 2023 I hope Arctic Review will receive many topical manuscripts related to the Circumpolar Northern societies and the High North. In this way, the journal will be able to continue to publish excellent research. A Happy New Year to all our readers and Arctic researchers!

Tromsø, 2 January 2023


  • 1. Daniel Billy and others v Australia (Torres Strait Islanders Petition), CCPR/C/135/D/3624/2019, date of adoption of Views 21 July 2022.