DR437E Governance in the High North: implications for Arctic private and public sector

April 4-8, 2022, and two digital meetings

ECTS credits: 7,5
Level of course: PhD
Type of course: Elective
Study location: Bodø​
Course coordinator: Associate Professor Elena Dybtsyna, Nord University Business School ​
Language of instruction: English
Teaching semester: Spring 2022​
Costs: No tuition fees. Doctoral students will have to pay for their travel and their stay/accommodation during the course. ​
Course evaluation: Evaluation using final survey.​

​​Course description:

The overall aim of the course is to learn and reflect upon multidisciplinary and multi-theoretical research approaches to governance in the context of the High North: what are implications for Arctic private and public sector. This course will focus on the particular 'level' of governance associated with a type of organization (including, e.g. public governance, global governance, and corporate governance). Firstly, we identify the nature of the concept itself. Secondly, we consider it in the framework of the relevant theories, and then the different examples of implications of the governance are discussed, i.e. smart governance. Participation at the conference “High North Dialogue" gives an exemplification of the governance issues in the context of the High North. At the scenario workshop, students will learn about different methodologies for scenario building and will be working in multidisciplinary groups on scenario topic relevant for the High North Dialogue conference.​

Governance is a broad issue that is addressed, analyzed, and understood in diverging ways. The literature on governance has a long tradition and embraces disciplines ranging from public administration, planning, policy sciences, to economics. This course will give an overview of governance and how to reflect upon it in the different contexts. The governance concept 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 (Stocker, 1998), which in turn leads to the “creation, reinforcement, or reproduction of social norms and institutions" (Hufty, 2011). The theoretical reflection upon governance will be considered by stakeholder theory, legitimacy theory, institutional theory and studies of governmentality.

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.

The course will be arranged through combining the competencies of High North Center for Business and Governance, Nord University Business School and its partners in research and education projects. The invited faculty will both give lectures and provide feedback at the seminars. Faculty will be represented by the following institutions:

  • Associate Professor Elena Dybtsyna (Nord University Business School, Norway)

  • Professor II Elana Wilson Rowe (Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, Norway)

  • Associate Professor Sara Brorström (School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Sweden)

  • Professor II Geir Hønneland (Fridtjof Nansen Institute, Norway)

  • Associate Professor Evgenii Aleksandrov (Nord University Business School, Norway)

Learning outcomes:


  • 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.



To take this course, the student has to be enrolled in a PhD program at his/her institution.


Recommended previous knowledge:

The course is offered on a PhD-level from various fields (e.g. business studies, economics, public administration, political science, resource management, law, social science, etc.). It is relevant for students at any stage of their PhD project who are dealing with governance issues. The participants can be using diverse research methodologies.


Mode of delivery:

The course will take place in digital format for the lectures and presentations one to two times before and after High North Dialogue week and in physical form for scenario workshop and participation at the High North Dialogue conference (www.highnorthdialogue.com).


Learning activities and teaching methods:

Scenario workshop, plenary lectures, group and individual presentations and comments on written work.



The individual study required before and after course. The course foresees obligatory participation and integrates lectures by experts in the field, participation in the scenario workshop, presentations and discussions of the course literature by the participants. Students are supposed to present and participate individually and in groups. PhD student will need to submit the one pre-assignment (i.e. memo) and one final individual assignment (i.e. course paper). The final individual 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. There will be a passed/not passed for all papers.


Work placement:

Not applicable.


Required and recommended reading: ​

The concept of governance:

Stoker, G. (1998). Governance as theory: five propositions. International Social Science Journal, 50(155), 17-28

Hufty, M. (2011). Governance: Exploring four approaches and their relevance to research. Research for Sustainable Development: Foundations, Experiences, and Perspectives, 165-183.

Djelic, M.-L. & Sahlin-Andersson, K. (2006). A World of Governance: The Rise of Transnational Regulation, in Transnational Governance: Institutional Dynamics of Regulation, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 1-28.


Theoretical framework:

Freeman, R. E. (2004). The stakeholder approach revisited. Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts-und Unternehmensethik, 5(3), 228-241.

Suchman, M. C. (1995). Managing legitimacy: Strategic and institutional approaches. Academy of management review, 20(3), 571-610.

Foucault, M. (1991). Governmentality, in G. Burchell, C. Gordon & P. Miller (eds), The Foucault Effect: Studies in Governmentality, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp. 87-104.

Additional reading:

Donaldson, T., & Preston, L. E. (1995). The stakeholder theory of the corporation: Concepts, evidence, and implications. Academy of Management Review, 20(1), 65-91.

Mahadeo, J. D., Oogarah-Hanuman, V., & Soobaroyen, T. (2011). Changes in social and environmental reporting practices in an emerging economy (2004–2007): Exploring the relevance of stakeholder and legitimacy theories. Accounting Forum, 35(3), 158-175.

Lemke, T. (2007). An indigestible meal? Foucault, governmentality and state theory. Scandinavian Journal of Social Theory, 8(2), 43-64.



Osborne, S. P. (2006). The New Public Governance? Public Management Review, 8(3), 377-387.

Argento, D., Grossi, G., Jääskeläinen, A., Servalli, S. and Suomala, P. (2020). Governmentality and performance for the smart city Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 33 No. 1, 2020, pp. 204-232.

Brorström, S., Styhre, A. (2020). Plans and situated actions in urban renewal projects: The role of governance devices in realizing projects. Environment and Planning C-Politics and Space, 0(0), 1-18.

Wilson Rowe, E. (2018). Arctic governance: Power in cross-border cooperation. Manchester University Press.

Additional reading:

Xue, L. (2012). The Shifting Global Order: A Dangerous Transition or an Era of Opportunity? Governance, 25(4), 535-538. 

Salamon, L. M. (2000). New Governance and the Tools of Public Action: An Introduction, Fordham Urb. LJ, 28, 1611-1674.

Young, O.R. (2019). Is it time for a reset in Arctic governance. Sustainability, 11, 4497, 1-12.

Nasi, J., Nasi, S., Phillips, N., & Zyglidopoulos, S. (1997). The Evolution of Corporate Social Responsiveness. An Exploratory Study of Finnish and Canadian Forestry Companies. Business &Society, 36(3), 296-321


Scenario workshop:

Amer, M., T. U. Daim and A. Jetter (2013). A review of scenario planning, Futures, 46, 23-40.

Schoemaker, P.J.. & van Der Heijden, C.A.J.. (1992). Integrating scenarios into strategic planning at Royal Dutch Shell. Planning Review. 20 (3), 41–46.

Overland, I., Bambulyak, A., Bourmistrov, A., Gudmestad, O., Mellemvik, F. and Zolotukhin, A. (2015). Barents Sea Oil and Gas 2025: Three Scenarios in A. Bourmistrov, Mellemvik, F., Bambulyak, A., Gudmestad, O., Overland, I. and Zolotukhin, A. (eds) International Arctic Petroleum Cooperation: Barents Sea Scenarios, Chapter 2, Routledge Studies in Environmental Policy Series, Routledge.

AMAP, 2017. Adaptation Actions for a Changing Arctic: Perspectives from the Barents Area. Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), Oslo, Norway.

Crépin, A.-S., Karcher, M. and Gascard, J.-C. (2017). Arctic climate change, economy and society (ACCESS): Integrated perspectives, The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Angelidou, M. (2014) Smart city policies: A spatial approach, Cities, Volume 41, Supplement 1, July 2014, pp. S3-S11.

Kummitha, R. K. R. and Crutzen, N. (2017). How do we understand smart cities? An evolutionary perspective. Cities, Volume 67, July 2017, pp. 43-52.

Grossi, G., and Pianezzi, D. (2017). Smart Cities: Utopia or Neoliberal ideology?, Cities, 69, pp. 79-85

Allam, Z. and Newman, P. (2018). Redefining the Smart City: Culture, Metabolism and Governance. Smart Cities, 1, 4–25.​


Overlapping courses:

Not applicable

Practical information

The city of Bodø

Bodø is home to around 50,000 people and is one of the fastest growing cities in the country, with a lively urban scene.


Photo: David Grandorge

Getting to Bodø

  • Bodø is the hub of Nordland and can be reached by plane, train and boat. 
  • Bodø's airport is located in the city itself, making it quick and easy to fly in and out. Oslo Gardemoen is a 90 minute flight away.

Photo: Ernst Furuhatt / www.nordnorge.com

Transport in Bodø

  • The main campus is located at Mørkved, about 9 kilometers from the centre of Bodø.
  • It is easy to take the bus from the airport or city center to campus.

Accomodation in Bodø

  • At campus there is a student hotel “Nordavind” which offers short-time rent. For more information. 
  • You may also stay at a hotel in the centre of Bodø.
  • We advise you to book accommodation as early as possible as hotels in Bodø at times are fully booked