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  • 1 Department of Political Science and Public Management
  • | 2 University of Southern DenmarkCenter for War Studies
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The Arctic Council is frequently called a unique forum but, as this article argues, clubs are common in international politics and in many respects the Arctic Council is a club. This article explores the questions: Why are the Arctic states acting like a club in Arctic politics, and how do internal hierarchies influence how clubs make decisions? As the article illustrates, clubs are the stage for club diplomacy and, in club diplomacy, hierarchies play an important role. Using the Arctic Council as an illustrative case study, this article argues that clubs have internal hierarchies that inform their decision-making processes and their responses to challenges to their status. When clubs try to deal with subjects that extend beyond the boundaries of the sovereignty of club members and the parameters of club membership, club members may suffer from a lack of status and legitimacy to unilaterally deal with the subject.

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