Life in the Arctic has become politicized in many ways due to the effects and challenges posed by climate change, industrialization, urbanization and globalization to local communities and inhabitants. Across the region, conflicts over land use and natural resources accompanied by insecurity and uncertainty about the future are part of everyday life in the Arctic. Such conflicts are political, and occur without respect to the borders of states or boundaries of politically constructed regions. In contrast to much publicized and debated threats of an open, international, direct and even military conflict over Arctic resources, these often small-scale, local conflicts relate to unequal social arrangements, benefit sharing and risk distribution in connection to megaprojects and infrastructural development around the region, and they could also be called “structural violence”.

Living in the Arctic, for both humans and non-humans, is nowadays a political question of coping with, adapting to and transforming changing conditions and circumstances, but also a starting point and object of political interventions of different scales, institutional arrangements and by a broad range of political actors. Papers and presentations covering different aspects of Arctic life as a political phenomenon are welcome.

Program draft

26 Sept 2017

10.00-11.00 Travel to Loma-Vietonen by bus
11.00-12.00 Lunch
12.00-13.00 Mikko Lehtonen, University of Tampere: Arctic and/as Alternative Modernity
13.00-13.40 Joonas Vola, University of Lapland: UN/IN/ANT/ARCTIC – Poles of the political dual-machine
13.40-14.20 Monica Tennberg, University of Lapland: Arctic heterotopias
14.20-14.50 Coffee
14.50-15.30 Marjo Lindroth & Heidi Sinevaara-Niskanen, University of Lapland: The Arctic and the colonial inclusion of indigeneity
15.30-16.10 Kari Alenius, University of Oulu: A mixture of facts and politicized narratives: The Sami people in European social media (Wikipedia)
16.10-16.50 Giuseppe Amatulli, University of Lapland: The role of the EU in promoting sustainable development, cross border cooperation and indigenous peoples’ rights in the Arctic
16.50-17.00 General discussion
19.00 Dinner and sauna

27 Sept 2017

9.00-10.00 Iulie Aslaksen, Statistics Norway: ECONOR – “The Economy of the North 2015”
10.00-10.40 Lovisa Solbär, University of Umeå: Extractive Violence in Kiistala? Mine and windfarm establishment in the sphere of everyday life and local landed interests
10.40-11.00 Coffee
11.00-11.40 Maiju Strömmer & Sari Pietikäinen, University of Jyväskylä: Value of work in the transforming political economy of Arctic: Biographical Narratives of work histories and aspirations
11.40-12.20 Marileine Baribeau, Laval University: Social Housing and Public Action Transformation: The Changing Relations between State and Inuit Tenants in Nunavik (Canada)
12.20-13.00 Lunch
13.00-13.40 Tanja Joona, University of Lapland: Oh, what an exotic Arctic! Women leave, men stay or kill themselves
13.40-14.20 Aileen Espiritu, The Arctic University of Norway: Futuring the Past: Arctic sustainability in Vardø and Teriberka
14.20-14.35 Coffee
14.35-15.15 Elena Klyuchnikova & Vladimir Masloboev, Kola Science Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences: Influence of corporations sustainable development policy on Arctic local communities
15.15-15.55 Olesya Kotiyar, MARKHI, Moscow Institute of Architecture (State Academy): Alternative sources of energy in the Russian Arctic as a driver for the development of the region
15.55-16.35 Susanna Pirnes, University of Lapland: Perception of Russia’s Arctic in the Finnish media
16.35-16.45 Hanna Lempinen, University of Lapland: Concluding thoughts
16.45 Return to Rovaniemi by bus

Deadline for registration

If you would like to participate to the symposium, please register your participation before September 15, 2017 by email to Susanna Pirnes (

Travel and accommodation

The event will be held in Loma-Vietonen (Ylitornio), 65 kilometres northwest from Rovaniemi. The fee for participation (for participants without a presentation) is 120 euros including travel from Rovaniemi to Loma-Vietonen and back to Rovaniemi, meals and accommodation in a double room and 140 euros for accommodation in a single room. Please note that the symposium participants are expected to cover their own travel costs to and from Rovaniemi, from where a bus transportation is arranged to the symposium site. Let us know if you have any wishes about the diet.

The symposium is organized by the Northern Political Economy research team of the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland.