Accepted Paper:

Paradiplomacy as a tool of community-based disaster risk reduction and response (DRR&R) in the face of Arctic disasters  


Patrizia Isabelle Duda (University College London (UCL))

Paper short abstract:

What are the de-facto means of isolated arctic communities to deal with disasters? This study examines alternatives to governmental support that is often lacking and puts special focus on cross-border/region community-based collaboration to create micro-environments of DRR&R.

Paper long abstract:

Arctic countries' northern communities tend to be isolated both geographically and politically, limiting the per capita DRR&R resources despite the significant environmental conditions and disaster risks that Arctic local communities are confronted with. At the same time, the realities on the ground and academic/non-academic literature increasingly point to the difficulties of governments/institutions to adequately respond to (complex and unforeseen) disasters - rendering the default solution of counting on institutional and governmental response unreliable. This paper proposes to study and analyze paradiplomacy as an alternative DRR&R tool at the community level. Complex interdependencies and the cascading nature of disasters through factors such as infrastructure or harmed supply chains emphasizes the need for DRR&R collaboration between communities. While paradiplomacy initiatives have the potential to work around the above-mentioned limitations and the ability to minimize disasters' harm, the possibility of bypassing government might also lead to unintended consequences. Through qualitatively surveying paradiplomacy relations between Arctic communities in Western Russia, Norway and Finland (where the population is dense in Arctic terms), initial interviews with key stakeholders and the use of Causal-Loop-Diagrams, we learn about and model the significance of paradiplomacy as a tool of community-based DRR&R but also its potential negative outcomes. This paper's goal is to reach initial but practical conclusions regarding the level of paradiplomacy activities and their effectiveness as a community-based tool in reducing disaster vulnerability and improving the ability to respond to disasters in the harsh Arctic climate, when governmental and institutional help might be limited or unavailable.

Panel LL-AS01
Arctic risk management network (ARMNet)