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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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Wilfrid Greaves

Abstract

This chapter examines the role of colonialism in constituting the region of Norden and the modern state of Norway. It argues that complex historical relationships of political domination between Norway, Denmark and Sweden – and of Sámi people by these states, Finland, and Russia – are key for understanding Norwegian state-formation and the construction of the Norway’s national interests in the ‘High North’. The first section outlines Scandinavian colonialism, and argues that colonialism is an appropriate, though underused, analytical lens for understanding interstate relations, state formation, and state-Sámi relations in Norden. The second section focuses on colonialism as it relates to the traditional Sámi homeland of Sápmi, outlining the role of Sámi in Scandinavian state formation and of colonialism in the establishment of modern Norway. It notes that Sámi were important to Norwegian national interests in two ways: by helping to consolidate Norwegian territory in Sápmi/northern Scandinavia, and for facilitating the extraction of northern resources. The third section describes how state policy toward Sámi in the 19th and 20th centuries shaped Sámi people and broader Norwegian society. It then discusses how colonial repression of Sámi cultural identity was challenged from the 1970s onwards, resulting in the establishment of Sámi political institutions and major policy changes for the Norwegian state to better respect Sámi indigenous rights.

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Sara Nyhlén, Katarina Giritli Nygren, Anna Olofsson and Johanna Bergström

Abstract

Although four million people live and work in the Arctic, it has become a ‘new’ place to discover and secure for the nation-states and companies that want to explore how to exploit newly available resources and territory as the ice melts. We have witnessed an increase in policies regarding the Arctic from many European and other countries throughout the last decade or more. Sweden became the last of the so-called Arctic states to launch a policy for the Arctic in 2011, and this chapter analyses this policy from a critical perspective. A seemingly ‘neutral’ language may characterize policies, but deriving from a feminist intersectional risk analysis, we argue that policy analysis is a key task for understanding contemporary power structures. By identifying enabling discourses, mobilizing metaphors and underlying assumptions, this analysis shows how Sweden’s policy produces normative constructions of environmental risks anchored in time- and context-dependent beliefs. The strategy adapts to and uses the dominant discourses about the Arctic; it puts risks such as climate change, energy shortage, and human and societal security in the centre while simultaneously positioning Sweden as having the best solutions for managing these risks in a sustainable way. The notion of security drifts towards risk management through arguments about developing and applying sustainable practices, and the strategy uses a language that echoes the language used in stories about conquests and colonial exploration of the Arctic written centuries ago.

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Alexander Sergunin

Abstract

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.

Series:

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

Series:

José Miguel Roncero Martín

Abstract

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.

Series:

Kamrul Hossain, José Miguel Roncero Martín and Anna Petrétei