Plenary panel session: Arctic World Politics in Times of Crisis
Plenary panel session on Friday 25.11. 13.00-14.15
Location: Juhlasali, Unioninkatu 33

The Arctic has been an exemplary field for international cooperation in politics, environmental issues, research and civil society. Among others, scientific cooperation across all borders has turned the Arctic in to a space of innovation during the last 30 years. Likewise, the existence of, and cooperation between, the region’s many Indigenous peoples has sustained identities and forms of life that challenge geopolitical divisions and state boundaries.

With the rapidly changed political order in 2022 this era of Arctic cooperation came to an end, with consequences that we will be experiencing for decades to come. This panel discusses the present challenges, and whether there is anything from this spirit of circumpolar cooperation among researchers and residents of the Arctic that can be rescued even in such difficult times.

Panel chair: Laura Junka-Aikio

Lassi Heininen is a Professor (emeritus) of Arctic Politics at University of Lapland and the Chair of the GlobalArctic Mission Council on the Arctic Circle. His fields of expertise include Arctic Geopolitics, IR and Security Studies, Environmental Politics, Northern European Studies and Arctic Studies. His most recent publications include The Arctic Yearbook 2022 (editor); “Climate Change and the Great Power Rivalry in the Arctic” (2022, Insight Turkey,24:2), “The Post-Cold War Arctic” (2022, Finger and Regvik eds. Global Arctic, Springer); and Climate Change and Security. Searching for a Paradigm Shift (2019, with Exner-Pirot, Palgrave Pivot). 

Florian Stammler is a Research Professor at the Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, with particular expertise in Arctic anthropology, especially in the Russian Far North. Stammler has led several research projects working with Western and Russian Arctic societies and cultures. uch of his research and publications focus on the encounter of (extractive) industries with animal-based livelihoods, and how its governing changes the livelihoods of Arctic peoples, both indigenous and local. More recently, he has also worked on well-being, youth and Arctic urban anthropology. 

Tiina Seppälä is a Lecturer at the Faculty of Social Sciences in the University of Lapland and an adjunct professor of International Development Studies at the University of Jyväskylä. Working  with critical approaches to Politics and IR, her research is concerned with the entanglement of the global South and the Arctic, as well as activism, social movements, development, displacement, post/decolonial studies, feminist theory, ethnography and arts-based methods. She is the author of Globalising Resistance against War (Routledge, 2012) and co-editor of Arts-Based Methods for Decolonising Participatory Research (Routledge, 2021) and Civil Disobedience from Nepal to Norway (Routledge, 2022). 

Mikkel Berg-Nordlie is a Sámi historian and a senior researcher at the NIBR Institute for Urban and Regional Research at the Oslo Metropolitan University (NIBR-OsloMet). His research is concerned with ethnic politics and -policy, especially concerning indigenous peoples and immigration issues. In particular, Berg-Nordlie has focused on the Sámi in Russia and on Sámi cross-border cooperation and relationships across the Nordic countries and the Russian Barents region. He is the co-author of Bridging Divides: Ethno-Political Leadership among Russian Sámi (with Indra Overland, 2012, Bergham), co-editor of Governance in Russian Regions: a Policy Comparison (2018, Springer) and numerous other studies in Russian and Sámi politics, Pan-Sámi history and Sámi urbanization.

Laura Junka-Aikio is a Professor of Northern Politics and Government at the University of Lapland. Her research is concerned especially with Sámi politics, politics of knowledge and identity, and theories of colonialism. Junka-Aikio’s recent publications include Sámi Research in Transition: Knowledge, politics and social change (2021, co-edited with V-P Lehtola and J Nyyssönen); “Toxic Speech, Political Self-Indigenization and the Ethics and Politics of Critique: Notes from Finland” (2022, in The Sámi World) and “Whose Settler Colonial State? Arctic Railway, state transformation and settler self-indigenization in Northern Finland (2022, Postcolonial Studies). Her article “Can the Sámi Speak Now? Deconstructive Research Ethos and the Debate on who is a Sámi in Finland” (2016, Cultural Studies) received the first Cultural Studies and Stuart Hall Foundation Award in 2017.