The Northern Pollitical Economy Symposium takes place from 14-15 November 2019 in Rovaniemi, Finland. Registration deadline is 31 October 2019. It focuses on the topic: What is left of development in the Arctic?

Is sustainable development a utopia in the Arctic? Is development in the Arctic more unsustainable than sustainable?  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?
Papers and presentations covering different aspects of Arctic developments critically are welcome. The event will be organized in connection to the Arctic spirit conference 2019, after the conference 14-15. 11.2019 at the Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, Finland.
Keynote speaker
Our keynote speaker will be professor Reetta Toivanen (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 Flensburg (Germany).
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.
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 31.10.2019. by sending an email to Monica Tennberg (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
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.
More information
Symposium organizer, research professor Monica Tennberg, research professor, Northern political economy research group, Arctic Centre, University of Lapland (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).