UNESCO Social and Human Sciences
You are in the MOST Phase I website (1994-2003).
The MOST Phase II website is available at: www.unesco.org/shs/most.

Tromsø 1997

UNESCO MOST Circumpolar Coping Processes Project (CCPP)
Coping locally and regionally with economic, technological and environmental transformations. A Northern circumpolar perspective.

A Northern circumpolar perspective

Since Newsletter no.2 a lot of activities and some changes have occurred. The project has left the pilot phase. The Steering committee meeting at Roskilde, The Roskilde Symposium on Coping, and the MOST/NorFA Workshop in Klaksvik, Faeroe Island were all successfully arranged. At the secretariat, Tabitha Wright Nielsen continued to do some work for the MOST CCP Project until April. The undersigned Marit Aure started to work at the secretariat in January.

A Short Report from the pilot phase of the CCPP MOST project.

After having received the "seed money" of $ 15.000 from UNESCO-MOST, a secretariat for the CCPP was established at the University of Tromsø, Norway, by September 1996. Cand. polit. Tabitha W. Nielsen was engaged as a full time academic advisor at the secretariat from September to end of January. From February 1997, Cand. polit. Marit Aure has held the position as academic advisor on part-time (20%) basis, engaged at full time from August. The secretariat is working in close cooperation with the project coordinators, Jørgen Ole Bæhrenholdt in Roskilde, and Nils Aarsæther in Tromsø.

From the start, the secretariat has been working systematically

(a) to set up the international network of researchers participating in the CCPP project,

(b) to facilitate communication between these and other interested researchers and institutions by establishing an electronic network,

(c) to implement the plan for the common activities in 1996-97, and in stimulating to the formation of, and dissemination of project information to, national CCPP research teams, and to other interested social scientists.

(d) to fund the core activities of the project.

(a) - The project organisation: Efforts have been made to set up an 9-nations network of the CCPP, each nation contributing by a minimum of one experienced social scientist,( member in the steering committee) and one doctoral candidate/ researcher. The steering committee meeting held in Roskilde April 2, 1997 agreed that the national teams must not necessarily be made up only by people that have received research grants with a specific reference to the CCPP project. With this wide definition in mind, the network have been established with participants from all the nine countries by April 1997.
Country Senior Researcher Doctoral candidate/researchers
Russia   Gennadij Luzin   Lariassa Riabova
Canada   Richard Apostle   John Hull
Norway   Nils Aarsæther   Anniken Førde
Finland   Martti Siisiainen   Lena Suopajarvi
Denmark/Bornholm   Jørgen-Ole Bærenholdt   Tage Pedersen
Greenland   Ivar Jonsson   Jørn Berglund-Nielsen
Iceland   Unnur-Dis Skaptadottir   G.Gudmundsson
Faeroes   Jogvan Mørkøre   Gestur Hovgaard
Sweden   Lars Carlsson/ Nils Gustav Lundgren   Peter Wara/ Per Åke Nilsson

(b) - The electronic conference system is implemented, and participating research team members have subscribed to the list. So far this E-mail conference includes the steering committee and the research team. We would like to establish the full network on a mailing list. At the secretariat, some 75 names and addresses make up the total network of the CCPP.

(c) - See report from MOST activities spring 1997.

(d)- The Norwegian Research Council, Dept. of Humanities and Social Science have secured the running of the project for 1997 by a extraordinary grant of NOK 250.000 (app. $ 35.000) by Nordic cooperation. This means that from the summer of 1997, the part-time position of Marit Aure will be expanded to a full-time engagement, with a part of the time reserved for CCPP research work.

In addition to the funding from Nordic research councils, the CCPP received $ 15.000 from NORA, the North-Atlantic Committee of the Nordic Ministerial Council. This funding will also contribute to the core activities of the secretariat.

To finance specific events of the CCPP, the Nordic institution for promoting doctoral studies NorFA has been approached. This institution is set up to fund academic networks, exchange of researchers, and scientific seminars. Applications to NORFA have so far been successful, and the CCPP network has obtained funding for the following activities:

For creating a network by the gathering of the steering committee: NOK 30.000
To organize the Roskilde Seminar held in April 1996 NOK 80.000
To organize the research team workshop, Faeroes June 1997 NOK 70.000
To finance the Russian social scientist to Tromsø, Oct. 1997 NOK 14.500
To finance the Russian participation at Roskilde seminar NOK 43.200

In addition, the Universities of Tromsø and of Roskilde have both contributed to the activities carried out so far:
Roskilde, for the organization of the Roskilde CCPP seminar: DKK 20.000
University of Tromsø, Gestur Hovgaardís (RUC) stay in Tromsø NOK 20.000
Univ. of Tromsø, travel expenses to the Roskilde Symposium NOK 14.115

NOS-S, The Nordic Social Science Committee, decided on Oct. 7. 1997 to support the CCPP with an annual sum of NOK 440.000,- for the years 1998-2000. This means that the coordination of CCPP activities will proceed according to our plans.


The steering committee meeting was opened by a short historical overview, to inform those who had not followed the project from the beginning. The steering committee then discussed the situation and strategy for financial support for each national contribution to the research team as a main theme. An agreement of a national responsibility for funding was reached in which researchers from each country tries to use UNESCO national liaisons committees. In establishing the network the coordinators and secretariat will provide support, with a special responsibility for funding the Russian participation. The members of the steering committee expressed satisfaction with the support from NorFA and NORA which have been most important in this phase.

Central in the present phase is also funding and recruitment of new Ph.D candidates. Those involved by now mainly have their funding from outside the MOST CCP Project. Itís an agreement that the project should try to arrange Ph.D courses which give credits in the Ph.D education.


The Roskilde CCPP and NordFA seminar was held April 3 - 6 at the Søminestationen in Holbæk. CCPP researchers were invited to present research papers, and in addition, Profís Johan Galtung and Andrew Sayer (UK) were invited to give keynote lectures and to comment the papers presented. In total, some 30 researchers participated, and 12 papers were presented (see list of paper titles). The keynote lectures of Galtung on Globalization and on Coping were also attended by some 40 students and staff at the Roskilde University.

Summing up the seminar, the general impression is that the participants acquired a shared understanding of the theoretical platform of the project, but on the question of methology (the selection of cases and techniques to be used in the case studies) more discussions are needed to secure a set-up of the empirical research that lends itself to cross-nations comparisons. The participants in general expressed a strong commitment to the CCPP, and the sheer length of the seminar contributed to a mood of optimism and cooperation. The prospects of being able to meet again (Faeroe Islands, Iceland) also created an interest in the CCPP as a process. Many of the researchers involved work at institutions in the peripheries of their respective countries, and the CCPP process is regarded as a way of coping with peripheral.

Paper presented at NorFa/MOST Symposium

  • Riabova, Larissa "Local People Meeting Social Problems (the case of Murmansk region)"
  • Jonsson, Ivar "Approaching Coping Strategies. Minieconomies and neo-structuralism. Notes Concerning Greenland".
  • Førde, Anniken "Everyday Life of Farming Households in Northern-Norway and Southern France- Comparative analyses of social processes"
  • Aarsæther, Nils "Some notes on the concept of "coping""
  • Apostle, Richard "Marginal regions and postmodernity: Resistance, Adaption and Collapse on the periphery"
  • Hull, John "Coping with the closure of the fishery"
  • Nielsen, Jørn Berglund "Research dissemination and information technology in a village perspective"
  • Suopajärvi, Leena "From the Grass-roots-level: Environmental Conflicts and so called "Development" in Lapland"
  • Karlstad, Stig "Coping with social problems and sustainable development in reindeer and sami societies; impacts of modernizing processes and common property problems"
  • Skaptadottir, U D "Coping with Marginalization. Localization in an Icelandic Fishing Community"
  • Hovgaard, Gestur "Coping strategies and self-development- A north Atlantic Perspective"
  • Nilsson, Per Åke " Rural Tourism as a Development Resource in Peripheral Areas. A Contribution to a New Rural Policy".
Publishing plan: Revised versions of the papers presented at the seminar will be submitted for publication in an anthology on coping processes, with both theoretical and empirical contributions. The CCPP coordinators will edit the publication.


The Faeroe Island workshop was arranged in cooperation with Gestur Hovgaard at Roskilde University Center/Faeroe Island, who does his fieldwork for Ph.D. in Klaksvik and Jógvan Mørkøre, Faeroe Islands member of steering committee.

In Klaksvik the team of researchers continued the discussions on the concept of coping based on Gestur Hovgaards paper to RUC symposium. Nils Aarsæther presented an introduction to a discussion on the text "Fragmented Societies" by Enzo Mingione (1991). And we had a lot of methodological issues relevant to the research process discussed. By doing interviews and visits in business enterprises ( a brewery and a filet processing plant) and in meetings with the major and a female member of Municipal Board, as well as by visiting the house of local peoples living in the northern part of Faeroe Island the participants got to know each other as field workers and empirical researches. The history and future of fishing industry, gender roles, the meaning of religion in a local society, and the challenges to the municipality seems to us be core themes. This raised lot of methodology debates central to the challenge of doing a joint research project. In addition, this field experience gave us an shared understanding of life in a northern periphery. For some of the participants this was also their first meeting with the Faeroe Island. Even if there are differences between societies in different countries a lot of the challenges these communities face also seem to be quite similar to those of the other northern communities in the participating countries.

The Swedish participants presented their work by the paper "Prerequisites for the Evolution of markets. An Institutional analysis of Russian Forestry". Jógvan Mørkøre made an lecture "Home-rule and the early 1990 crisis- economic and political restructuring of Faeroe islands".

Practical results from the Klaksvik workshop are

  • Several smaller teams of researchers are established to work on different themes by using e-mail. Tourism- John Hull Canada, Information Technology- Jørn B. Nielsen,Nuuk, Methodology- Gestur Hovgaard-Faeroe Island.
  • Project coordinators are going to prepare manuals/guidelines for fieldwork.
  • Fieldwork will be done in Storfjord, Norway, during October, by Larissa Riabova, Nils Aarsæther and Marit Aure
  • Coordinators work with publications on papers from RUC Symposium
  • The "user conference" turned out to be a NORA Strategy conference in Isafjordur, Iceland, march -98 (with Unnur-Dis Skaptadottir)
  • The following places seem to be appropriate as case studies are so far:
    • Blanc-Sablon, Iqaluit, Pangnirtung (Canada)
      Uummannaq, Ilulissat, Tasilaq (Grcnland)
      Isafjordur, Bolungarvik (Iceland)
      Klaksvik, Vagur (Faero Island)
      Storfjord, Båtsfjord (Norge)
      Teriberka (Russland)

Preliminary plans for the strategy/ user-conference have been worked out. Both NORA and The Norwegian Research Council will support the conference. The conference will be in Isafjordur, Iceland March 18.-22. 1998. Working-title for the conference: MOST CCPP Strategy and Users conference- "Local coping strategies- a prosess of learning". In addition to MOST researchers, 2-3 representatives from local communities: politicians, business, public administration and voluntary organizations and so on will be invitated. The conference will bee organized with both plenum sessions and team work in workshops. The first day will be devotet to the "users" experience and areas in need of investigations. The second day we will put focus on current reseach. Third day will be the "working day", trying to make practical and political needs researchable, and the last day will be used to secure local participation in future work, sum up the conference and leave Iceland. In addition the program will consist of keynote lectures on different related themes, ment to broaden our thoughts! There will be several presentations of research from Iceland and also some lectures on literature and art and of course we will visit some places and business on Iceland.

CCPP Media interest and responses from Storfjord (pop. 1800)

Before going to the Roskilde seminar, Nils Aarsæther was interviewed by the regional radio station on the CCPP project. As a result of this, the county commune of Troms has asked to be informed about the project. Also, two independent responses came from the municipality of Storfjord in Troms, both of them asking the project group to consider Storfjord as a potential CCPP case municipality. With a population of about 1800 people, and a stable demographic development compared to most other peripheral municipalities, Storfjord has been selected. Following the media interest, the mayor of Storfjord has been to a meeting at the CCPP secretariat, and another interview on the CCPP has appeared in regional newspapers as well as a regional radiostation.

E-mail adresses CCPP research team
Gestur Hovgaard gesturh@forv.ruc.dk, (doing fieldwork at Klaksvik, Faero Island)
Tage Pedersen Tage.Petersen@rcb.dk
Anniken Førde Anikkenf@isv.uit.no (parental leave)
Leena Suopajärvi lsuopaja@levi.urova.fi
Jørn Berglund Nielsen karo.aamma.joern@greennet.gl (privat)
John Hull hull@mgm.lan.mcgill.ca
Larissa Riabova root@ksc-isc.murmansk.su
Nils-Gustav Lundgren  nils-gustav.lundgren@ies.luth.se

CCPP Steering Comittee

Gennedy Luzin luzin@ksc-iep.murmansk.su
Lars Carlsson lars.carlsson@ies.luth.se
Jogvan Mørkøre jogvanm@sleipnir.fo
Unnur Dis Skaptadottir unnurd@rhi.hi.is
Richard Apostle apostle@is.dal.ca
Ivar Jonsson ij.unigreen@greennet.gl
Martii Siisiainen msiisiai@levi.urova.fi
Nils Aarsæther Nilsaa@isv.uit.no
Jørgen Ole Bærenholdt job@geo.ruc.dk
Marit Aure  

To MOST Clearing House Homepage