The U.S. Chairmanship: Round Two

  • Heather NicolEmail author
Part of the Springer Polar Sciences book series (SPPS)


This chapter explores the platforms, leadership processes, agenda and resulting complexity of the US Chairmanship of the Arctic Council (2015–2017). It examines the making of the “strategic agenda” that was at the foundation of the U.S. Chairmanship’s Program and then assesses the Chairmanship itself. What has the U.S. Chairmanship meant for the Arctic Council? What did the Arctic Council mean for the U.S. Chairmanship? What did it contribute to the long- standing work plan of the Arctic Council and its transition to the Finnish Chairmanship in the second half 2017? It concludes that both an entrepreneurial approach to the role of the Chair, and disaggregate agenda-setting effort contributed in no modest way to the stability of the Council’s transition, particularly as it has offset the potentially tumultuous impacts of the U.S. political landscape after the election of Donald Trump.


United States Arctic Council Chairmanships Entrepreneurial leadership Assessment 


  1. Alaskan Arctic Policy Commission. (2013). Transcript of Juneau meeting.
  2. Arctic Council. (2015). Proposed U.S. Arctic Council chairmanship program 2015–2017. February 2015. “One Arctic: Shared opportunities, challenges, and responsibilities”. Retrieved from: Arctic Council 2015.
  3. Balton, D. (2017). The Arctic Council: Fostering cooperation, preservation, and prosperity in the far north. United States Department of State. Dipnote official blog. May 10 2017. Retrieved from
  4. Bennett, M. (2015). Arctic Council – From looking out to looking in, Eye on the Arctic, April 28, 20918. Retrieved from:
  5. Brigham, L., Exner-Pirot, H., Heininen, L., & Plouffe, J. (2016). The Arctic Council: Twenty years of policy shaping. Introduction. In L. Heininen (Ed.), The Arctic yearbook 2016 (pp. 9–15).Google Scholar
  6. Carafano, J. J. (2015). Time for America to get serious about its Arctic policy. The National Interest, September 13, 2015. Retrieved from
  7. David, M. (2016). Strong foothold or on thin ice? US strategies for development, environmental stewardship and security in the Arctic. In D. A. Berry, N. Bowles, & H. Jones (Eds.), Governing the north American Arctic: Sovereignty, security and institutions. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  8. English, J. (2013). Ice and water: Politics, people and the Arctic Council. Toronto: Allen Lane.Google Scholar
  9. Exner-Pirot, H. (2015). The road to the U.S. Arctic Council chairmanship. World Policy Institute, Arctic in Context. February 11, 2015. Retrieved from
  10. Eye on the Arctic. (2016). Arctic Council uses Fairbanks meeting to think about the future. 21 March 2016. Retrieved from
  11. Fabbi, N., Montgomery, S., & Finke, E. (Eds.). (2017, Summer). The Arctic Council: A unique international institution in twenty-first-century international relations, 13-part blog series. World Policy Institute, Arctic in Context. Retrieved from
  12. Fairbanks Declaration. (2017). Retrieved from
  13. Fenge, T. (2013). The Arctic Council past, present and future prospects with Canada in the chair from 2013 to 2015. The Northern Review, 37 (Fall 2013), 7–36.Google Scholar
  14. Halinen, H. (2016). Commentary- the Arctic Council in perspective: Moving forward. In L. Heininen (Ed.), The Arctic yearbook 2016 (pp. 20–23).Google Scholar
  15. Hoag, H. (2016, January 23). Mark Brzezinski: U.S. Arctic policies and priorities. News Deeply/Arctic Deeply. Retrieved from
  16. Hossain, K., & Barala, H. (2017). An assessment of the US chairmanship of the Arctic Council.: Articles, 5 May 2017. University of Lapland. Retrieved from: file: //habitat/home/heathernicol/Desktop/kossain%20and%20Barla.pdf.Google Scholar
  17. Keskitalo, E. C. E. (2004). Negotiating the Arctic: The construction of an international region. New York/London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Koivurova, T., & Heinämäki, L. (2006). The participation of indigenous peoples in international norm-making in the Arctic. Polar Record, 42(02), 101–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lackenbauer, P. W., Nicol, H., & Greaves, W. (2017). One Arctic. Ottawa: Canadian Arctic Resources Committee.Google Scholar
  20. Nicol, H. (2017). Rescaling borders of investment: The Arctic Council and the economic development policies. Journal of Borderlands Studies, 33(2): 225–238. Retrieved from: Scholar
  21. Nilsson, A. E. (2016). The Arctic Council: From achievement to self-reflection and learning November 30, 2016. World Policy Institute, Arctic in Context Retrieved from
  22. Nord, D. (2016). Lessons learned from three recent chairmanships of the Arctic Council. In L. Heininen (Ed.), The Arctic yearbook 2016 (pp. 108–117).Google Scholar
  23. Rosen, M. E. (2018). US Arctic policy: The video and the audio are out of sync. The National Interest, March 4, 2018. Retrieved from
  24. Showstack, R. (2015). United States to chair Arctic Council at Challenging Time EOS: Earth and Space Science News. March 17, 2015. Retrieved from
  25. Spence, J. (2013). Strengthening the Arctic Council: Insights from the architecture behind Canadian participation. The Northern Review, 37 (Fall 2013), 37–56.Google Scholar
  26. United States. (2013). Department of Homeland Security. US National strategy for the Arctic region. Retrieved from
  27. United States. (2015a). The White House. Office of the Press Secretary. Executive order — enhancing coordination of National efforts in the Arctic. January 21, 2015. Retrieved from
  28. United States. (2015b). Clean air task force. Clean air task force/Arctic 21 Statement. On Arctic Sea ice reaching record low winter maximum, March 19. Retrieved from
  29. United States Department of State. (2017). Fairbank Declaration 2017: On the occasion of the tenth ministerial meeting of the Arctic Council. Retrieved from
  30. United States Government. (2014). US National strategy for the Arctic region implementation plan. Retrieved from….pdfGoogle Scholar
  31. World Wildlife Fund. (2017). Permanent participants weigh in”. Retrieved from

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Trent UniversityPeterboroughCanada

Personalised recommendations