Northern Political Economy Symposium

14.11.2019 9:00–15.11.2019 16:00
Arktinen keskus / Arctic Centre
Pohjoisranta 4

The 10th Northern Political Economy Symposium takes place on 14-15 November 2019 in Rovaniemi, Finland. The theme of the symposium is What is left of development in the Arctic?

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 Arctic future?

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.

Keynote speaker
The keynote speaker will be professor Reetta Toivanen (Helsinki Institute for Sustainability Science, University of Helsinki, Finland). Her topic is “Whose development are we talking about? 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.

Deadline for registration

If you prefer to participate to the symposium without presenting a paper, please register your participation before 31.10.2019. by sending an email to Monica Tennberg: monica.tennberg(at)

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.

PROGRAM  14-15 Nov 2019

(changes are possible)
University of Lapland, main building (Yliopistonkatu 8, Rovaniemi)
Open program in PDF format

Thursday 14.11.2019

9.00-12.00,  Eelin Sali

Chairperson: Monica Tennberg
9.00 Monica Tennberg, University of Lapland: Opening words
9.15-10.15 Reetta Toivanen, University of Helsinki: Whose development are we talking about? European fantasies on the Arctic
10.15-10.30 Coffee break
10.30-11.00 Liubov Timonina, The Arctic Institute: Imagining and narrating development in the Arctic: Visual storytelling in times of Capitalocene
11.00-11.30 Timo Jokela & Maria Huhmarniemi, University of Lapland: Art and culture supporting renewable economies in the Arctic
11.30-12.00 Hannah Strauss-Mazzullo, University of Lapland: Sustainability as a practical problem
12.00-13.00 Lunch

13.00-16.30 Panel 1, Room SS04
Chairperson: Adrian Braun
13.00-13.30 Gerard Duhaime, Université Laval: Market inequalities and the reproduction of unsustainability in Nunavik
13.30-14.00 Panu Itkonen, University of Lapland: The economic sustainability of the Skolt Sami
14.00-14.30 Marjo Lindroth, University of Lapland: Greenland and the elusive better future: the affective merging of resources and independence
14.30-14.45 Coffee break
14.45-15.15 Jennifer L.L. Carroll, University of Alaska Fairbanks: Development dilemmas: Rural development students imagining a sustainable future in Alaska
15.15-15.45 Philippe Boucher, Concordia University: Sustainable development through the Inuit cooperative movement
15.45-16.15 Mathieu Boivin, University of Montréal: Quebec’s “North Plan”- What’s left for Northern indigenous communities? Can the North bring its riches back?
16.15- Concluding words

13.00-16.30 Panel 2, Meeting room, Faculty of Social Sciences
Chairperson: Hannah Strauss-Mazzullo
13.00-13.30 Olga Khlebosolova, Sergo Ordzhonikidze Russian State University for Geological Prospecting: Perspectives on Arctic sustainability programs: Student interview results
13.30-14.00 Edouard Galimullin, Russian Academy of National Economic and Public Administration: Snow, cold and polar bears: A study of Russian youth attitudes towards life and work in the Arctic
14.00-14.30 Joonas Vola, University of Lapland: ‘Person substitute’. Public art in performing political economy and socio-cultural sustainability in the Arctic
14.30-14.45 Coffee break
14.45-15.15 Heidi Sinevaara-Niskanen, University of Lapland: When gender matters: Equality as a source of Arctic sustainability?
15.15-15.45 Emily Höckert, Outi Kugabi & Monika Lüthje, University of Lapland: Hosts and guests in participatory development
15.45-16.15 Monica Tennberg, University of Lapland: Arctic, urban and international? The case of Rovaniemi
16.15- Concluding words

19.00 Dinner, place to be confirmed

Friday 15.11.2019

9.15-14.30, Eelin sali

Chairperson: Hanna Lempinen
9.15-9.45 Daria Burnasheva, Arctic State Institute of Culture and Arts: Arctic identity: between frontier and homeland
9.45-10.15 Susanna Pirnes, University of Lapland: The idea of space in the context of Russian Arctic
10.15-10.30 Coffee break
10.30-11.00 Aaron Cooper, Coventry University: Frozen or Fluid? Exploring Arctic Environment protection in the context of geopolitical competition.
11.00-11.30 Daria Kolesnikova, National Research University, Higher School of Economics: Arctic region: how to make it worth
11.30-12.00 Olga Noschenko, National Research University, Higher School of Economics: High North regions' economic resilience: case-study of Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District
12.00-13.00 Lunch break

Chairperson: Heidi Sinevaara-Niskanen
13.00-13.30 Braun Adrian, University of Lapland/University of Eastern Finland: The relevance of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and social license to operate (SLO) in Barents region mining
13.30-14.00 Francesco Durante, University of Helsinki: The governance of natural resource extraction and its contribution to the sustainable development of the Russian Arctic Zone: a case study of the Yamalo–Nenets autonomous okrug
14.00-14.30 Concluding discussion

More information

Symposium organizer, research professor Monica Tennberg
Northern political economy research group, Arctic Centre at the University of Lapland



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