The Political Economy of Northern Regional Development

Vol. I

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“...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.



Comparative-historical analysis of farming systems and agricultural intensification in medieval and early modern Iceland

Scholarly research on farming systems in medieval and early modern Iceland generally assumes a perennial type of “natural subsistence economy” and lacks a strong focus on market and tribute production, as well as the class relations among farmers. This approach underestimates the political and economic significance of domestic and foreign trade, which especiall involved the export of wool products. This approach also lacks a systematic analysis of tributary and tenure relations, as they developed in conjunction with changes in farming methods. Attempting to fill this gap in research, I conducted an ethnographic study on the farming systems of Iceland by employing a historical-comparative method for examining economic documents in new problem-oriented ways (Ingimundarson 1995). In interpreting information and archaeological evidence as well as developing hypotheses on changing farming systems in early Iceland, I have interviewed and shared my documents with farmers and agricultural scientists in two Icelandic farming communities. Through this, I have employed a careful understanding regarding intensified livestock production in the 19th and early 20th centuries.


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