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Constructing Svalbard and its natural resources Industrial futures in a contested Arctic space
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment. (Assessing Arctic Futures)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6461-7734
2013 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The Arctic is often envisioned as a future supply area for fossil energy and shipping, a development bound to occur because of the decreasing Arctic Ocean sea ice. In the Assessing Arctic Futures project we have challenged this deterministic future vision, arguing that natural resources are social constructions, constructed within networks of actors who ascribe value to them. Based on a theoretical model developed in this project, I will present cases on the construction of resources in the Svalbard coal mining industry (1898-present). How and why have actors envisioned Svalbard as a place for settlement and extraction? How did they build influence for their visions and why were some of those visions realized? The paper will suggest that explanations of why resource utilization in the Arctic occur (or not) is far more complex than the relative amount of sea ice on the Arctic Ocean.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Category
History of Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-168270OAI: diva2:815379
Calotte Academy 2013: Resource geopolitics – Energy security
Assessing Arctic Futures
Mistra - The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research

QC 20150622

Available from: 2015-05-30 Created: 2015-05-30 Last updated: 2016-02-25Bibliographically approved

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