Becoming an Arctic Council NGO Observer

Danita Catherine Burke, Teale Phelps Bondaroff

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This paper explores the question: How is the NGO observer application process to the Arctic Council influenced by perceptions of legitimacy of the applicant? Using information gleamed from numerous interviews we map out the application process for NGO observer status in the Arctic Council. In addition to the formal criteria, we argue that Arctic states have a set of informal criteria for evaluating NGO observer applications, and that the evaluation of these criteria are coloured by individual Arctic state and the Permanent Participant perceptions of the legitimacy of the NGO applicant. Reaching into the literature on NGO legitimacy, we develop a framework detailing four key components upon which the perceptions of the legitimacy of an NGO are generally formed. This framework is then incorporated into a broader model of the overall application process through which NGOs must submit in order to attempt to gain observer status at the Arctic Council.

TidsskriftPolar Record
Udgave nummer5-6
Sider (fra-til)349-359
StatusUdgivet - 27. mar. 2019


Bibliografisk note

This paper was supported the Carlsberg Foundation and the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 746312 and from the Carlsberg Foundation as part the Distinguished Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (Project Number: CF15-0434) held by Danita Catherine Burke between February 2016 and February 2018. Additionally, thank you to the interviewees who inspired this paper and to the School of Political Science at the University of Ottawa and the Department of Political and Economic Studies at the University of Helsinki who hosted Danita Catherine Burke as a visiting scholar during the research of this piece.