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Swedish Policy for the Arctic: A Feminist Risk Analysis
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Social Sciences. (RCR)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5000-311X
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Social Sciences. (FGV)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5337-3287
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Social Sciences. (RCR)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5355-4280
2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Since 2007 there has been an increase in policies for the Arctic from many European and non-European countries. Sweden was the last of the Arctic states to launch a policy for the Arctic in 2011. While policies may be presented in ‘neutral language’ they are fundamentally political. In fact, a key task in order to understand contemporary power structures, is to trace the philosophical underpinnings of policy in order to capture its enabling discourses, mobilizing metaphors, underlying ideologies and uses. Drawing on feminist risk theory the aim is to analyze the Swedish policy for the Arctic to explore risk discourses about the Arctic and their performative practices through policymaking in Sweden. Feminist risk theory has been formulated in order to overcome the dividing lines of risk research and intersectionality. It highlights the need for analysis of the ‘doings’ of risk not only from the perspective of discourses that interpolate individuals into certain subject positions, but also from a perspective that acknowledges the power dimensions in the ‘doings’, and also recognizes that the performativity of risk takes place along lines of difference. It is also difficult not to acknowledge that risk theories are drawn from and, in turn, contribute to a particularly Western conceptualization of risk—one that is progressive, evidence-based, and rational, and situated historically and socially within a post-Enlightenment tradition of modernity, postmodernity, and development discourse. This has led us to question some of the underlying premises in the historical framing of not only risk but also the Arctic as a construct of the post-Enlightenment. Our analyses show the Swedish strategy adapts to and uses the dominant discourses about risks, such as climate change, human security as well as boarder societal security and energy shortage, while simultaneously positioning Sweden as the solution to manage these risks. Using an articulation that echoes the language used in stories about conquests of the Arctic that was written centuries ago, these ‘masculine fantasies’ are embedded in the policy and as a consequence is action and influence the Arctic region are enabled.  

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-32773OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-32773DiVA, id: diva2:1178917
Conference
NEW CHALLENGES, NEW THREATS: RESILIENCE AND ADAPTATION IN A RISKY WORLD. The 26th Annual meeting of Society for Risk Analysis Europe (SRA-E) Lisbon, Portugal,19-21 June, 2017
Available from: 2018-01-31 Created: 2018-01-31 Last updated: 2018-02-02Bibliographically approved

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Olofsson, AnnaGiritli Nygren, KatarinaÖhman, Susanna

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