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Breaking the Ice: INGOs as Arctic Council Observer Status Applicants

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "ACOSA" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: CAMPUSVEJ 55
city: ODENSE M
postcode: 5230

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Denmark [DK]
 Total cost 200˙194 €
 EC max contribution 200˙194 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2016
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2018
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2018-03-01   to  2020-02-29


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    SYDDANSK UNIVERSITET DK (ODENSE M) coordinator 200˙194.00


 Project objective

In international politics, the Arctic has emerged as one of the hottest geo-political arenas for international non-governmental organization (INGO) work in the 21st century. One of the big attractions for INGOs has been the leading regional forum, the Arctic Council, which has integrated a way for INGOs to be included into Arctic regional environmental protection and economic development discussions. This role is called ‘observer status’ and INGOs can apply for, and potentially obtain, observer status within the forum which gives them some degree of access to political discussions as they are unfolding and the political and bureaucratic elite operating on the front line of regional discussions and treaties.

The assessment criteria through which Arctic Council evaluates observer status applications, however, is not transparent, with the Arctic Council reserving the right to rescind an observers status if their conduct is deemed against the ethos of the Arctic Council and the work of the forum. This forum dynamic raises an important question that strikes at the heart of Arctic governance cooperation, and more broadly, INGO participation in international forums and institutions: how far can INGOs pursue their work before jeopardizing their involvement in the Arctic Council forum? Exploring concepts such as legitimacy and global governance, this project will use a qualitative research design that draws upon elite level interviews with senior Arctic Council officials and representatives from the World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace, two INGOs interested in Arctic Council participation but with very different track records for inclusion. Through a detailed examination of the Arctic Council, this project discusses how INGOs are expected to act in order to be included in organizations, institutions and forums in the current international sociological environment which is increasingly critical of INGO involvement in international politics.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Danita Catherine Burke
Canadian High Arctic Research Station and Cambridge Bay: An Interview with Marla Limousin
published pages: 329-334, ISSN: 0004-0843, DOI: 10.14430/arctic69026
ARCTIC 72/3 2020-01-30
2020 Danita Catherine Burke
Trust and the WWF in the Arctic
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
Non-Human Nature in World Politics: Theory and Practice 2020-01-30
2018 Danita Catherine Burke, André Saramago
Singapore’s Use of Education as a Soft Power Tool in Arctic Cooperation
published pages: 920-941, ISSN: 0004-4687, DOI: 10.1525/as.2018.58.5.920
Asian Survey 58/5 2020-01-30
2019 Danita Catherine Burke
Club Diplomacy in the Arctic
published pages: 304-326, ISSN: 1075-2846, DOI: 10.1163/19426720-02502004
Global Governance 25/2 2020-01-30
2018 Danita Catherine Burke
Why the Arctic isn’t a ‘global commons\'
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
2018 Danita Catherine Burke
Why the new Arctic ‘Cold War’ is a dangerous myth
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
December 13, 2018 2019-06-03
2019 Danita Catherine Burke
Quality Affordable Events: The Polar Research and Policy Initiative and the “Canada-Scotland Arctic Dialogue, Edinburgh”
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
April 8, 2019 2019-06-03
2019 Danita Catherine Burke
Gender Equality in the Arctic Network
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
March 25, 2019 2019-06-03
2019 Danita Catherine Burke, Teale N. Phelps Bondaroff
Becoming an Arctic Council NGO observer
published pages: 1-11, ISSN: 0032-2474, DOI: 10.1017/s0032247419000044
Polar Record 2019 2019-06-03

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