Subject description for 2024/25
Governance in the High North: Implications for Arctic Private and Public Sector
Subject description for 2024/25

Governance in the High North: Implications for Arctic Private and Public Sector

The overall aim of the course is to learn and reflect upon multidisciplinary and multi-theoretical research approaches to governance in the High North context: what are implications for Arctic private and public sector. Within the course students learn how to construct a solid theoretical framework based on the combination of theories from diverse disciplines within and beyond social sciences such as anthropology, business and management, future studies, human geography, political science, and sociology.

Governance is a broad issue that is addressed, analyzed, and understood in diverging ways. The literature on governance has a long tradition and embraces multiple disciplines ranging from public administration and political science, through planning, public policy, to business and economics. Governance refers to the creation of a structure or order “which cannot be externally imposed but is the result of the interaction of a multiplicity of governing and each other influencing actors” (Kooiman and van Vliet, 1996). Governance is concerned with creating conditions for the ordered rule and collective action (Stoker, 1998), which in turn leads to the “creation, reinforcement, or reproduction of social norms and institutions” (Hufty, 2011).

The course focuses on a particular 'level' of governance associated with a type of organization (including, e.g. public governance, global governance, and corporate governance). Firstly, we outline the concept itself. Secondly, we address governance through relevant theoretical frameworks, and then discuss different examples of its implications, i.e. environmental, smart or ocean governance.

Participation at the Arctic Congress in spring gives an exemplification of the contemporary Arctic governance issues. At the scenario workshop in the fall semester, the students learn about different methodologies from future studies and work in multidisciplinary groups on High North governance scenarios.

The course seeks to directly contribute to furthering the development of students own research theses/dissertations, deepen their knowledge of the subject and facilitate their methodological preparedness.

Admitted to a Ph.D. program or have the qualifications to be admitted to a Ph.D. program.

Must fulfill the English language requirements or must be from approved partner institutions.


  • have advanced knowledge in the governance as a theoretical concept;
  • can evaluate and analyze the expediency and application of different theoretical and methodological approaches in governance research;
  • can contribute to the development of new knowledge and interpretation of challenges associated with governance in different contexts.


  • can formulate problems the relevant problem statements and critically assess the analytical value of governance concept;
  • can deal and connect own research projects with relevant theoretical and methodological assumptions and challenges presented in the PhD course;
  • can critically examine the work of others and handle complex academic issues of applying theories in own research.


  • can identify new relevant methodological and ethical issues and carry out his/her research with scholarly integrity;
  • can discuss and communicate research related to governance in different contexts;
  • can participate in debates and defend his/her choice of the theoretical and methodological approach to the issues of governance in international forums.
No tuition fees. Doctoral students will have to pay for their travel and their stay/accommodation during the course.

Online lectures, conference gatherings, peer-review of written work, group and individual presentations, scenario workshop.

The course will be delivered in two formats: online and offline/hybrid. The online part will consist of lectures that will take place prior to the Arctic Congress conference ( The offline/hybrid part will consist of two gatherings: participation in the Arctic Congress in Bodø in spring, and the paper presentation and scenario workshop in October in Oslo or Shanghai based on the opportunities provided by the course partners.

Students evaluate the course annually by final evaluation survey. This evaluation is included in the university’s quality assurance system.
ndividual study is required before and after the course. The course foresees obligatory participation and integrates lectures by experts in the field, discussion of the course literature, paper presentations and engagement into the scenario workshop. Students are supposed to perform individually and in groups. To complete the course students will need to submit two assignments: a memo, including a short overview of the theoretical framework they want to develop within the course and final individual course paper. The final paper (between 5000 and 7000 words) with size 12 font Times New Roman and 2 cm margins is to be submitted within one month after the conclusion of the course. All papers will be evaluated by two examiners, one from Nord University and one external. There will be a passed/not passed grade for the individual papers. To avoid self-plagiarism, the content from the final course paper can be only partially used in the Ph.D. thesis and will require substantial rewriting.