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Edited by Kamrul Hossain, Jose Miguel Roncero Martin and Anna Petrétei

Human and Societal Security in the Circumpolar Arctic addresses a comprehensive understanding of security in the Arctic, with a particular focus on one of its sub-regions – the Barents region. The book presents a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective to which the Arctic is placed as referent, and special attention is paid to the viewpoint of local and indigenous communities. Overarching topics of human and societal security are touched upon from various angles and disciplinary approaches, The discussions are framed in the broader context of security studies. The volume specifically addresses the challenges facing the Arctic population which are important to be looked at from human security perspectives.
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Satu Ranta-Tyrkkö

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Despite underlining the importance of the commitment of states and international organizations, the discourse on human security is seldom explicit about who the actors or frontline workers are that operationalize the framework. One such group of practitioners that is possibly involved, but largely unacknowledged, is social workers, especially as social work as a discipline, profession and social movement has a value base and overall goals that are very similar to the human security approach. In social work, the categories of economic, food, environmental and community security fall within the discourse of human security, particularly with the currently evolving ecosocial (ecological/environmental/green) approach. The paradigm of social work thus exemplifies an important holistic orientation.

Based on the understanding that social and environmental vulnerabilities are interlinked and that the extractive model of development often eats away and alters the land and ecosystems, this article discusses mineral extraction and its consequences from a social work perspective in the context of northern Finland. Of particular interest is the long-term socio-environmental risks associated with metal mining and the actual and possible roles of social work in relation to them. The article rests upon thematically analyzed semi-structured interviews and participant observation conducted in one mining region in Northern Finland.

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Corinna Casi

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The Value of the Barents Region: More than a Resource Provider offers an account of the environmental non-economic value of the Barents region from an ecological perspective. The text provides a critique of the interpretation of environmental issues as if they are economic ones. Generally conceived as a territory reach in natural resources, therefore source of economic profits, the Barents region is instead a unique natural environment worth of protection and respect. Many of its aspects, such as mire and old-growth forests, contribute to the sustainability of the whole planet. Moreover the Indigenous inhabitants of the Barents Regions, who often are not considered in the decision-making of their native land, provide an incalculable help to its wellbeing.

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Kamrul Hossain, José Miguel Roncero Martín and Anna Petrétei

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Gerald Zojer

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The Arctic has received increased attention in the past decade, not at last due to new estimates about the region's vast natural resource deposits. The common interest of the Arctic states in developing these resources becomes visible in both their respective national Arctic strategies as well as through declarations of the main forum for intergovernmental cooperation in the region—the Arctic Council—where mass-scale natural resource extraction may be one way to move toward a sustainable future. This paper analyzes whether the promotion of hydrocarbon development can contribute to sustainable human development in the Arctic. This paper argues that, while some regions may be affected positively, the Arctic population at large will likely not benefit from hydrocarbon development. Following approaches from political ecology, this paper suggests that there are indications that hydrocarbon development is more in the interest of global elites—based in the economic and political centers in the south of the Arctic—rather than an agenda for meaningful human development of the Arctic population. Thus, this paper concludes that hydrocarbon development is not a suitable approach to develop the Arctic's societies in an economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable manner for current and future generations.

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José Miguel Roncero Martín

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In the last decade, the eight Arctic states (Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States) have published policies and strategies for the Arctic. These national documents offer the vision of what the Arctic is to become in the next decades. They also identify challenges and propose specific solutions. These national policies and strategies offer a vision of the roadmap for (sustainable) development, environmental protection, and the development and empowerment of the Arctic inhabitants. These documents also underline in a broader sense the expected role of indigenous communities when it comes to the development of the region. This paper offers a brief analysis of these documents. The objectives of the research presented here are to identify whether the elements of human security can be found in the national plans of the eight Arctic states, and if so, to what extent.

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Edited by Kamrul Hossain, José Miguel Roncero Martín and Anna Petrétei

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Michael Sheehan

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This chapter examines the impact on the indigenous Sami population of the establishment of the Esrange rocket launch site in northern Sweden in the early 1960’s. The intersection between the rights of indigenous people and the exploration of outer space is still a comparatively under-researched field and the chapter contributes to this emerging literature. It studies the conflict between Swedish scientific and political aspirations and the cultural and economic interests of the local Sami population, using a human security analytical framework.

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Edited by Kamrul Hossain, José Miguel Roncero Martín and Anna Petrétei

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Alexander Sergunin

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This chapter examines human security and sustainable development strategies of the Russian Arctic cities in terms of their scope, focus, and efficiency. The author concludes that the Russian northern municipalities are serious about solving numerous socio-economic and environmental problems and making these urban areas better and more comfortable places to live in. Despite some residual problems and shortcomings, Arctic cities’ human security and sustainable development strategies evolve in a rather dynamic and positive way.