The Political Economy of Northern Regional Development

Vol. I

image of The Political Economy of Northern Regional Development

“...Taking the structure and functioning of the Arctic regional economies and the degree of economic dependence as a point of departure, these region’s self-reliance and comparative socio-economic performance is analyzed. The fundamental problem is still the dependency Arctic regions have on their mother economies in the south” “...the impact from climate changes and the global economy strongly influence the self-sufficiency constraints and potentials of the Arctic societies. Traditional approaches to economic valuation may not be sufficient to capture these relationships. Neo-classical economics and the trade off model look upon nature as a good commensurable with all other goods, and henceforward there is a substitution possibility. The rational self-interest and ‘homo economicus’ is however, not the same as responsible self-interest included in ecological economics. This suggests broader approaches to environmental uncertainties, which take into account ethical values and conflicts of interest”. Contributors: Hans Aage, Iulie Aslaksen, Andrée Caron, Gérard Duhaime, Solveig Glomsröd, Jón Haukur Ingimundarson, Ivar Jonsson, Jack Kruse, Joan Nymand Larsen, Svein Mathiesen, Anna Ingeborg Myhr, Birger Poppel, Rasmus Ole Rasmussen, Erik Reinert, Hugo Reinert, Chris Southcott, Gorm Winther, Lyudmila Zalkind.



Climate Change and Pastoral Flexibility: A orwegian Saami Case

The Scandinavian Sámi are one of more than twenty circumpolar ethnic groups that traditionally practice reindeer herding. Climate change will likely affect the practice of pastoralism in Sámi areas severely. Winter temperatures may increase significantly, while changes in precipitation and wind will affect snow patterns. Traditional Sámi pastoralism is well adapted to handling rapid change in extreme and often unpredictable environments, and past responses to climatic variability may offer clues as to how long-term and permanent climate change can be successfully managed. The paper argues that the key to successful management lies in maximizing herder flexibility in responding to changing conditions. Between the four nation-states that currently include Sámi pastoralism within their territories – Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia – have a surprising amount of variety in their systems of governance. Due to limitations of space, our discussion here focuses specifically on the Norwegian case. We propose that in the face of climate change, timely adjustments are made to national governance structures, aimed specifically at maintaining and re-establishing conditions for pastoral flexibility. This will be key to ensuring the survival of Sámi reindeer herding – both as culture and as economic practice.


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