10th Northern Political Economy Symposium will be organized on 14-15 November 2019 in Rovaniemi, Finland. The symposium is organized by the Arctic Centre at the University of Lapland. Symposium is the side event for the Rovaniemi Arctic Spirit Conference 2019, which will take place on 12-13 November 2019.
What is left of development in the Arctic? Is sustainable development
a utopia in the Arctic? Is development in the Arctic more unsustainable
Sustainable development, a popular idea of balanced, equal and
participatory development, dominates the debates about the region. Even
research about the region often takes sustainable development as a
starting point. However, the progress towards reaching this goal seems
slow and sustainable development unreachable. These observations make us
ask: What makes development sustainable in the Arctic in different
political, economic and social contexts? What kind of social and
political imaginaries we have and should have for the Arctic? Do our
imaginaries match our means and practices? Are there any attractive,
viable alternatives for sustainable development? How do different
imaginaries motivate or improve current policies and strategies? What
kinds of missed voices and ideas there are about development in the
Arctic? How do emotions of hope, fear and uncertainty relate to the
Our keynote speaker will be professor Reetta Toivanenen (HELSUS, University of Helsinki, Finland). The topic of her talk will be “European fantasies on the Arctic”.
The presentation address the paradigm that places the people living in
the Arctic area, still centuries after the voyages of Pytheas (325 BC)
and other European explores, as the object of a European fantasy.
Residents of the Arctic are in this paradigm framed as guardians of the
treasure chest that is the Arctic and as an ancient people of ‘nature’
rather than “culture” and thus doomed to the unpolitical. The
presentation will discuss the different political, economic and military
interests that intertwined with this fantasy and ask who could be the
beneficiary of the development projects.
Reetta Toivanen is full professor in Sustainability Science (Indigenous
Sustainabilities) at the Helsinki Institute for Sustainability Science
(HELSUS) and a docent in social and cultural anthropology at the
University of Helsinki (Finland). She is the vice-director of the Centre
of Excellence in Law, Identity and the European Narratives
(EuroStrorie) funded by the Academy of Finland (2018-2025) and PI of the
research consortium ALL-YOUTH funded by the Strategic Research Council
at the Academy of Finland (2018-2023). She is also a non-resident senior
research fellow at the European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI) in
Professor Toivanen's major areas of research and expertise are field
research, ethnographic methods, anthropology of law, human rights,
ethnic and national minorities, Arctic research, human rights teaching,
multilingualism and language policy, and critical feminist theory. Her
recent publications: European Fantasy of the Arctic Region and the Rise
of Indigenous Sámi Voices in the Global Arena, in Sellheim et al. eds
Arctic Triumph, Springer 2019; Towards Openly Multilingual Policies and
Practices Assessing Minority Language Maintenance Across Europe,
Multilingual Matters 2016 (authored together with J. Laakso, S.
Spiliopoulou-Åkermark & A. Sarhimaa) and Linguistic Genocide or
Superdiversity? (edited with J. Saarikivi), Multilingual Matters 2016.
Call for papers
Papers and presentations covering different aspects of Arctic developments critically are welcome.
Deadline for proposals
Please send your abstract (max. 250-words)
with your name, title, affiliation and contact information before
September 15, 2019 by email to Monica Tennberg: monica.tennberg(at)ulapland.fi.
The programme will include a keynote talk, presentations by the
participants and discussions on the basis of presentations. A symposium
dinner will be organized.
The accepted papers and programme will be announced by October 1, 2019.
Deadline for registration
If you prefer to participate to the symposium without presenting a paper, please register your participation before 31 October 2019 by sending an email to Monica Tennberg: monica.tennberg(at)ulapland.fi.
Travel and accommodation
Please note that the symposium participants will to cover their own
travel and accommodation costs. There is no participation fee. Let us
know if you have any wishes about the diet.
Symposium organizer, research professor Monica Tennberg
Northern political economy research group, Arctic Centre, University of Lapland