Congratulations and welcome junior researchers Auni, Heidi and Salla!

29.4.2021 13:06

University of Lapland has recently selected new junior researchers to conduct their PhD studies in the doctoral programme The Arctic in a Changing World. Northern Political Economy research team is thrilled to share the news of three new group members that have received funding for their research.

Auni Haapala’s doctoral research Arctic Cities in the Makings of Global Extractivism sets to investigate the exploitation of Arctic nature and natural resources from less studied urban perspective. The study draws from feminist studies, critical urban studies, and political ecology, with a core aim to examine how three Arctic “capitals” - Rovaniemi, Tromso and Murmansk - participate in facilitating and resisting the expansion of extractivist practices on the ground. With a specific focus on nature-based tourism in Rovaniemi, large-scale fishery in Tromso, and oil and gas sector in Murmansk, the study explores how cities’ connection to the extractive practices are understood by decision-makers, extractive industries, civil society and citizens, and what forms of resistance to extractivism emerge at the local level. The study has both theoretical and practice-oriented value to deepen understanding of the material and narrative makings of extractivism in the Arctic and the complex roles of northern cities as part of these processes. Auni is conducting her research in multidisciplinary field of gender studies and her work is supervised by NPE group members Prof Monica Tennberg and PhD Heidi Sinevaara-Niskanen.

Heidi Konttinen’s transdisciplinary doctoral research Arctic Seal Hunt, Crafts and Trade as a Place of Encounter for Local and Global Sustainabilities responses to the questions how local and global sustainabilities are formed, how power is distributed between them and how they affect each other? These questions are studied through the Arctic seal hunt, crafts and trade with the aim in understanding how the different sustainabilities could complement—instead of conflicting with each other. Local perspectives are conducted with Kalaallit in Greenland and with a Finnish sealing community in Himanka. The global perspective is formed from the statements and agreements by international actors connected to the European Union’s regulations on seal trade. Konttinen frames the sustainabilities as socio-material entities and approaches them from various onto-epistemic and geopolitical perspectives. The hypothesis emphasizes the role of the human-nonhuman relationships in the formation of sustainability and therefore, also in the conflicting views on sustainability. The research applies research through design and Indigenous research methodologies and participates in the decolonial discussion of the geopolitics of power and knowledge. Heidi is preparing her research in the Faculty of Social Sciences and her work is supervised by NPE group member Prof Monica Tennberg.

Salla Kalliojärvi’s doctoral thesis Security in the Age of Climate Change: The Convergence of Securities? analyzes how the increasing significance of multinational corporations in global climate governance is impacting on the governance structures and technologies of security. The study builds on poststructural and post-Marxist theories, with an aim to answer to the critical questions of the impacts of climate change on our understanding of security and the ways we see it can be governed. The study looks how the authority and legitimacy of multinational corporations as security actors is constructed in an increasingly complex climate governance architecture, and what are the political and institutional effects of this process. Due to the Arctic region’s intrinsic relationship with the global climate system and the economic globalization, these effects and processes are analyzed in relation to the Arctic and the region’s interaction with the global systems. Salla is conducting her research in political sciences and her work is supervised by NPE group member PhD Hanna Lempinen.

Once again, warm congratulations and welcome to the NPE group.


Text: Heidi Sinevaara-Niskanen, on behalf of the whole research team.
Photo: Glacier Buttercup (Ranunculus glacialis), Anna-Liisa Ylisiriö.