Arctic Society and Societal Security: A Reference to Extractive Developments in Northern Fennoscandia

In: Human and Societal Security in the Circumpolar Arctic


The Arctic is largely a geographically defined region. In terms of territory, the region is politically divided into eight fragmented areas, each of which is administered by the national jurisdiction of a state. At times, the inhabitants’ Arctic societal identity is in conflict with their so-called national or civic-identity, determined by citizenship. Even though the Arctic is not a homogenous region, it shares similar characteristics, in terms of climatic conditions, livelihood practices, and the presence of culturally unique groups (e.g., indigenous and tribal groups). In this chapter, we endeavor to determine how the Artic identity is formed within a transnational setting and what values are to be protected and promoted for the Arctic societal identity to exist and perpetuate. To this end, we employ a case study on extractive industrial developments in Fennoscandia. We show how, on the one hand, mining development brings economic incentives to the society and promotes its material values, but on the other hand, it adversely or disproportionately affects the local population by threatening the region’s traditional societal characteristics. We explore how an Arctic society in Fennoscandia promotes its societal security in the event of extractive industrial developments, by adopting measures essential to the society’s stable functioning and sustainability.

Human and Societal Security in the Circumpolar Arctic

Local and Indigenous Communities



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