Conveners: Peter Sköld, Umeå University with Cécile Pelaudeix, Aarhus University as co-convener
The concept and practice of sustainable development as guiding institutional principle, as concrete policy goal, and as focus of political struggle remain salient in confronting the multiple challenges of the new global order in the Arctic. How sustainable development is conceptualized and practiced depends very much of how it is embraced by scholars, policy makers and people in the Arctic.
This session aims to address various perspectives on sustainable development in the Arctic, including the now traditional areas of environmental protection, economic growth, and social equity. We welcome contributions that are concerned with the local communities, the oceans and the global Arctic, and the relation between them. The plurality of the Arctic is important to illustrate, and we are also interested in the development of comparative approaches between states or regions as well as trans-disciplinary approaches including both natural and social sciences in the session. As always, climate change, policy strategies, security, natural resource development, and human capacity building are of great interest. We value contributions focusing on indicators for sustainability, and on the analysis of its normative substance and the constraining as well as enabling effect of the concept on policy making.
There are many aspects of sustainability, with this session we hope to bring together scholars that can highlight its complexity as well as its importance. Thus we also welcome presentations on resilience, adaptation, traditional and local knowledge, and indigenous peoples.
The Sustainable Arctic - Opportunities and Challenges of Globalization
Conveners: Lassi Heininen in cooperation with Maria Ackren, Rasmus Bertelsen and Thorsteinn Gunnarsson as co-conveners
The Arctic region is receiving increasing international scientific and political attention for three reasons: climate change, political-economic globalization and research. Correspondingly, the world is witnessing the “Rise of the Rest”, where Asian powers are growing in economic and political influence. These countries see themselves as natural stakeholders in regions around the world, including the Arctic. Followed from this the Arctic states have to relate to the rising Asian powers - the future of the globalized Arctic is not any more in the hands of Arctic actors alone. The Asian interest is much driven by concern on climate change, as well as the fact that the Asian states depend on global supply of energy and water, as much as shipping. The 'global' Arctic with new economic interests might become a new dimension to the relationship between the Arctic states and Asia, and may give the Nordic states privileged scientific, political and economic access to Asian states. This session continues the research initiated by the GlobalArctic Project. It addresses that the globalized Arctic has potential worldwide implications, and also how the Arctic is a potential geopolitical, economic and scientific transnational nexus between the Nordic states and Asian powers. This session will take into consideration the both perspectives and looks at the Arctic region from the point of Asia, particularly from China, and from that of the Nordic Region, as well as discusses on interrelations between China and the Nordic countries.
China, Nordic Countries and the Arctic
Convener: Matti Nojonen, University of Lapland
China’s emergence as a major power, if not as a super power in global economy and geopolitics is now a fact. In just recent years this rapid change of globalizing Chinese economy has coincided with a gradual change in Beijing’s foreign policy – China has moved from passive observer into a more assertive and proactive actor on global stage. For the past three decades China´s opening-up policy has provided one of the best investment of foreign capital, including from the Nordic countries, while fruitful China-Nordic cooperation in fields such as economy, energy, infrastructure, education and scientific research has laid a good foundation for the future cooperation in all possible fronts of the Arctic region.
In number of international issues and multilateral institutions Nordic countries cherish to stand on common ground. However, China’s relationship with Nordic countries varies greatly. Sino-Norway relations are still in stand-still; China has a comprehensive strategic partnership relationship with Denmark; Sweden is one of the biggest recipient countries of Chinese high-tech investments in EU; Sino-Iceland relations are rapidly developing, whilst Sino-Finnish relations can be characterized as non-problematic, yet being without any particular comparative strengths.
We invite researchers from various fields and multi-disciplinary perspectives to penetrate the complexities of Sino-Nordic relationship and divulge China’s increasing activities within the Arctic region. We particularly welcome empirical research papers from the fields of politics, political economy, business, organizational studies, sociology, law and strategy studies on national, organizational or micro-levels.
Convener: Daniela Tommasini, Multidimensional Tourism Institute MTI
Interest about the Arctic from a touristic point of view has grown over the past few decades as an important development option for many isolated, scenic but economically depressed regions, which might have no other way to bring in revenues. While tourists are attracted to the Arctic by its nature, images of its pristine landscapes and northern lights, tourism can create jobs and contribute to a viable economic and socio-cultural sustainability for local communities. At the same time tourism, following the growing concern over the climate change in the circumpolar North, can encourage environmental preservation, promote cultural preservation of traditions and heritage, can increase education, and help maintain social cohesion.
This session aims to be a forum for discussions in the cross roads of various aspects of understanding, implementing and addressing concerns related to: sustainable tourism development in the Arctic (entrepreneurship and tourism in the Arctic, cultural sustainability of tourist destinations); climate change and Arctic tourism, possible changes, potential challenges (development of new tourist products, rethinking the marketing message); myths and realities concerning Arctic tourism (potentials and pitfalls about Arctic tourism, tourist and local communities expectations about tourism); the image of the Arctic (perceptions and images of an Arctic place, representation of the Arctic from in the Chinese culture) and destination choice and purposes of travelling to an Arctic destination by Chinese tourists (Chinese Visitors experiences in the Arctic, satisfying the Chinese tourist demand, strategies and adaptation for new clients).
We welcome contributions from scholars from various disciplines to address and develop above issues.