Chairs and International Organizations: The Case of the Arctic Council

  • Douglas C. NordEmail author
Part of the Springer Polar Sciences book series (SPPS)


This chapter considers the position of chairs within most international organizations. Omnipresent but usually viewed as having limited influence and impact, the heads of such bodies can nonetheless be seen to perform critical functions for their organizations. These are outlined and discussed with an eye to their ability to provide both power and leadership capabilities to the occupants of such organizational chairs. The specific “powers of the chair” and the alternative leadership styles that can be pursued are discussed. The particular case of the Chair of the Arctic Council is then considered. The origins and structure of this body are reviewed as they pertain to possible leadership responsibilities and capabilities for its head. These dimensions are further developed and discussed with the goal of providing a common analytical frame for the consideration of specific Chairmanships of the Arctic Council in subsequent chapters of the volume. The chapter concludes by considering four ongoing leadership challenges that must be faced by all who operate at the helm of the body.


Chairs International organization Leadership style Powers of the chair Institutional challenges 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUmeå UniversityUmeåSweden

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