Back to All Events

Regional Governments in International Affairs: Lessons from the Arctic

  • Campbell Conference Facility 1 Devonshire Place Toronto, ON (map)

The Arctic is gaining the attention of national governments around the world. Indeed, countries as diverse as Switzerland, Mongolia, and Turkey have sought observer status at the Arctic Council as one expression of their Arctic interests. Much of the dialogue about circumpolar governance over the last few years has been focusing on how these non-Arctic voices will shape, change, or contribute to the Arctic agenda. Perhaps, this focus has led us to miss something – what is the role of the regional governments from within the Arctic in shaping the international Arctic agenda?

With the advent of globalization that has brought urban and international issues closer together than ever before, an opportunity arises for local governments across border to work with each other to tackle some of the these problems. So what role do regional governments play in international affairs? What lessons can be learned from regional governance and co-operation from different parts of the world and the Arctic that address similar issues such as the environment and economics? How can these lessons be applied to the circumpolar Arctic region?

At the front lines of the decisions made for the Arctic regions are municipalities, territorial and state governments, and Indigenous organizations and governments. How do these subnational actors and governments from within the Arctic participate in international diplomacy which could result in outcomes that affect them? With no formal role on the Arctic Council, which is often regarded as the main platform for international Arctic diplomacy, how do these regional governments engage in international affairs in the Arctic? What does the future of the Arctic look like, and how will these subnational and regional governments be involved? The goal of this conference is to learn more about the ways in which regional governments are engaging in Arctic issues across the circumpolar world.

Please join us on September 18, 2015 as we welcome speakers from across the Arctic region to discuss these crucial issues.


Please note this event is open to the public.

BURSARY: “Regional Governments in International Affairs: Lessons from the Arctic,” aims to bring together practitioners and academics across the circumpolar world, and we invite you to attend! This conference is offering 5 bursaries of a maximum of $1,000 each to subsidize your travel to and from the event. This will be paid in full prior to your travel booking. We encourage you to submit an application by Friday, August 21, 2015 to Emily Tsui ( You will be notified shortly after about the result of your application.


1. Canadian students enrolled in a post-secondary program in Canada.

2. Interested in Northern affairs, international relations, and Canada.

3. Available to attend all the programming on September 18, 2015. Application:

CONTACT: If you have any questions, please email Emily Tsui at

AGENDA: See here