Power Technologies’ productions of space: Sámi territoriality and indigenity

Leaders: Dr Judith Miggelbrink; Dr Bernd Belina

Start of the project: 2008
End of the project:  2012

A project of the Collaborative Research Centre No. 586 "Difference and Integration" (SFB 586), funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), at the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography (IfL), Leipzig, and the Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi.

The main aim of the research project is to examine the role played by the various definitions of the Sámi as "indigenous people" in present-day conflicts about space and resources. Our assumption is that these definitions, including those from the legal and international perspectives, those by outsiders and those by the Sámi themselves, are connected to notions of territoriality that are based on specific social forms of organisation and economic practices. In this theoretical context, the analysis of the productions of space will follow a heuristic model based on Foucault’s triangle of sovereignty, discipline and security that will form the basis for the development of a spatial model depicting technologies of power. This model will then be used as a scientific tool to contribute to a wider debate on conflicts about resources and space in situations where "indigenous" and state territorialities play a role.

The research will address, amongst others, the following questions:

  1. Through what kinds of spaces or spatiality are the various types of power, in Foucauldian terms security, discipline and sovereignty, put into effect?
  2. Following the Foucauldian assumption that space is fundamental for the exercise of power (cf.2005 [1982], 337), how do discipline, security and sovereignty produce actual, specific spatialities, and in particular territories and boundaries?
  3. How is thereby the "Sámi" perspective constructed?
  4. What are the resulting conflicts and the possibilities for their resolution?
  5. How significant to this are the differing conceptualisations of space produced by the Sámi?


  • Dr. Judith Miggelbrink (Leibniz-Institut für Länderkunde, Leipzig)
  • Dr. Bernd Belina (Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main/Leibniz-Institut für Länderkunde, Leipzig)
  • Dr. Florian Stammler (Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi)
  • Dr. Nuccio Mazzullo (Leibniz-Institut für Länderkunde, Leipzig/Arctic Centre, Rovaniemi)
  • Peter Koch M.A. (Leibniz-Institut für Länderkunde, Leipzig)
  • Johann Simowitsch (Leibniz-Institut für Länderkunde, Leipzig)
  • Lea Bauer (Leibniz-Institut für Länderkunde, Leipzig)


Our website uses cookies, read more. By continuing to browse the site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. [I Agree]