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Arctic state, Arctic nation? Arctic national identity among the post-Cold War generation in Norway

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Ingrid A. MedbyORCiD


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© 2014,Taylor & Francis. In Norway, the Arctic has taken centre stage as a primary political priority. Claiming status as an ‘Arctic state’ may not be controversial based on formal geographical and legal definitions; however, the way in which the Arctic has thus been incorporated in the public's sense of Norwegian national identity is less clear. Against the background of the Norwegian government's discursive construction of a national Arctic identity in its High North strategy, this study assesses the reception this official identity has received. Over 200 young Norwegians, having largely grown up in a post-Cold War world marked by rapidly changing Arctic climate and geopolitics, were asked about their sense of Arctic identity. Contrary to governmental efforts to frame the Arctic as a fundamentally national matter, the respondents' insights highlight the multifaceted nature of identities, as a sense of Arctic identity contextually shifts between sub-national, national and supranational scales. This study thus suggests a balancing act faced by states across the region as they seek to legitimize state-level primacy and national unity in the circumpolar North.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Medby IA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Polar Geography

Year: 2014

Volume: 37

Issue: 3

Pages: 252-269

Online publication date: 08/10/2014

Acceptance date: 03/09/2014

ISSN (print): 1088-937X

ISSN (electronic): 1939-0513

Publisher: Taylor and Francis Ltd


DOI: 10.1080/1088937X.2014.962643


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