Participation as the Essence of Good Governance: Some General Reflections and a Case Study on the Arctic Council


  • Margherita Paola Poto K.G. Jebsen Centre for the Law of the Sea, UiT - The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway
  • Lara Fornabaio University of Ferrara, Italy


The present contribution explores aspects of good governance on the global dimension with participation as one of the key elements of a well-governed system, focusing on the Arctic Council’s (AC) commitment to enhance indigenous peoples’ participation in the environmental decision-making process.

The paper starts with a reflection on the revolutionary impact that new technologies have had on legal reasoning over the last three decades. A new revolutionary way of thinking based on easier access to information and enhanced interaction has increased the connectivity and complexity of relationships between actors in the global arena, by improving opportunities for them to be part of the decision-making process.

Part I, Section II provides a critical analysis of the global governance phenomenon. Global dynamics are analyzed from a historical perspective, from their origin in the communication realm to their application in administrative law. In Part I, Section III, the scrutiny shifts to the meaning of good governance and its core principles, in which participation plays the role of protagonist.

Part II investigates the role of the Arctic Council through the lens of good governance tools, with particular focus on recognition of the “permanent participant” status of indigenous groups as an example on non-State actors’ engagement in decisions regarding the environment. Propositions on possible ways to re-launch the Arctic Council’s role as a platform for new forms of participation, peaceful resolution and environmental protection conclude the article.

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How to Cite

Poto, M. P., & Fornabaio, L. (2017). Participation as the Essence of Good Governance: Some General Reflections and a Case Study on the Arctic Council. Arctic Review on Law and Politics, 8.



Original Articles


environmental protection, Environmental Protection - Global Arena – Good Governance - Civic Engagement -Arctic Council, global arena, good governance, civic engagement, Arctic Council