UNESCO Social and Human Sciences
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October 1999

MOST CCPP Management of Social Transformations, 
A Northern Circumpolar Coping Processes Project

Our last newsletter was distributed in November 1998 and a lot of work has been conducted within the MOST CCPP network since then.

This newsletter will inform you on the following issues:

We want to welcome Kerstin Hägg, Umeå, Sweden, to the UNESCO MOST CCPP and
the steering committee. Kerstin Hägg has received a Ph.D. in sociology and work as senior lecturer at the department for Child and Youth Education, Special Education and Counseling (Swedish abbreviation BUSV) at Umeå University, Sweden. E-mail address: kerstin.hagg@educ.umu.se

Development of the Schoolessay project

In 1998 UNESCO MOST offered MOST CCPP funding for a truly comparative circumpolar pilot study "The Schoolessay-project". We want to thank UNESCO MOST/CSI for funding this project. So far we have collected questionnaires
and essays from the  following communities:

  • Klaksvik, Faeroe Island, a pilot study (Gestur Hovgaard)
  • Vagur, Faeroe Island (Dennis Holm)
  • Teriberka, Russia (Larissa Riabova)
  • Storfjord, Norway  (Anne Dalheim)
  • Båtsfjord, Norway (Mayor Leif Arne  Viken)
  • Isafjordur, Iceland (Unnur Dis Skaptadottir)
  • Inari, Finland (Leena Soupajärvi)
  • Pajala, Sweden (Kerstin Hägg)
  • Storrumman, Sweden (Kerstin Hägg)
  • Gottland, Sweden (Kerstin Hägg)
  • Chisasibi, Canada (Tor Gjertsen)
  • Digby Neck, Canada (John David Flint)
All researchers and case localities involved in the MOST CCPP were during the fall of 1998 invited to take part in the School essay project. Questions and essay-exercises was formulated and distributed during the winter of 1999. During spring and summer all the material have been collected, translated and sent to Tromsø where we have engaged Cato Bjoerndahl, cand.polit in educ. research to analyse and report the results of the project. Cato has received support in the statistical analyses (SPSS) from
Nina Olsen (student in Tromsø) and from the local researchers. This report will be submitted to UNESCO MOST in Paris by 1 November and will be published in the MOST working papers series. We will make a summary based on this report to be sent to all pupils and schools engaged in the project.

The Schoolessay -meeting: Nordic Arctic Research Program (NAP) have by their contributions made possible a workshop in Roskilde, DK 23.-24. of September where most of the researchers met to discuss and analyse the questionnaires and essays. This was a fruitful meeting, where one of the more concrete results was a decision  to concentrate the analyses on similarities and differences regarding four dimensions found central in the youths essays. These dimensions are 1) The need for social arenas, 2) The views on the local social conditions, 3) The perceptions of the labour
marked and the local economy, 4) The sense of place reflected in the essays.

A press release was distributed through the network after the meeting.

The conference and workshop in Apatity, Russia

Institute for Economic Problems, Kola Science Centre, with participation of the Department of Economics of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow) invited UNESCO MOST CCPP to take part in The International Scientific Conference “Global and Local Socio-Economic Processes in the North" in Apatity  March 1999.  We decided to arrange a MOST CCPP workshop and a Steering Committee meeting in connection with the conference. Nordic Academy of Advanced Study (NorFA) was funding the workshop, and additional contributions was made by the Barents Secretariat, the Joint Committee of the Nordic Social Science Research Councils and the University of Tromsø. Jørgen Ole Bærenholdt, Nils Aarsæther and Richard Apostle from MOST CCPP Steering committee took part in the conference's International Organising Committee.

MOST CCPP wants to thank the organisers of the conference Director Gennady Luzin and  Vladimir Didyk and Larissa Riabova from the Local organising committee for inviting us to Apatity.

The following papers and speeches were presented during the NorFA/MOST CCPP
Workshop "Comparative analyses within a common conceptual framework" MOST
CCPP,  Apatity 21.3.99 funded by NorFA:

  • Jørgen Ole Bærenholdt "Comparative analyses within a common conceptual framework" key-note presentation
  • Yury A. Jacobsen "Analysis of fleet enterprises as a stable economic system"
  • Yury A. Kibitkin "Assessment of regional Socio-Economic effect of investment in development of resources from West Arctic seas"
  • Larissa Riabova "Learning coping: Russian local experience"
  • Maria  Poludennaya "Globalization as a tendency of development of world economic relations"
  • Mervi Autti "Constructed reality of the Vuotos reservoir. Local society in conflict"
  • Aini Linjakumpu "Theoretical innovations and empowerment of northern regions"
  • Natalia Koukarenko "Coping with the marginalization, or women's strategies in Archangels Region"
The workshop had altogether 24 participants, 11 of these were students, 16 of the participants were Russian and the rest came from the circumpolar countries participating in MOST CCPP. The conference and workshop gave the opportunity to include more researchers working in North West Russia in the MOST CCPP network, and we hope this can result in some common projects. Some of the contributions presented at the conference and workshop will be published in the forthcoming MOST CCPP book "The Reflexive North" and in the conference proceedings.

The following papers from MOST CCPP researchers were presented during  the
main conference “Global and Local Socio-Economic Processes in the North" 18.-21. of March 1999. Apatity, Russia:

  • Richard Apostle: "Social theory and Northern challenges: Problems for a new empirical investigation" key-note presentation
  • Nils Aarsæther: "Life and work in XXI Century Northern Localities" key-note presentation
  • Jogvan Mørkøre: "Self-reliant development strategy in a globalized economy - changes to regional and local economies based on fisheries"
  • Jens Kaalhauge Nielsen: "Economic dependency and political autonomy in Greenland"

Meeting of the Steering Committee, Apatity 20 March 1999

We discussed the plans for further work in the MOST CCPP - including ongoing and new projects, funding and seminars, workshops etc. planned.

The following members of the steering committee were present.

  • Jørgen Ole Bærenholdt (DK), coordinator,
  • Nils Aarsæther (NO),
  • Gennady Luzin (RU)
  • Richard Apostle (CA):
  • Unnur Dis Skaptadottir (Iceland)
  • Jens Kaalhauge Nielsen (Greenland)
  • Jogvan Mørkøre (FO)

Visit in Luven'ga, White Sea Area, Russia

After the conference and workshop in Apatity a group of MOST CCPP researchers, researchers and translators from Kola Science Centre, Institute for Economic Problems, Apatity had planned to conduct a small fieldwork in Teriberka on the Murmansk coast. Due to problems out of  our control we had to reschedule the plans and by great effort and help from KSC, IEP  we managed to make appointments and go to Luven'ga, near Kandalksha on the White Sea coast. This fieldwork was made possible by funding from The Barents Secretariat and UNESCO MOST.

Luven'ga is a small village with 816 inhabitants. During our stay here we divided in two groups. One group concentrating on school/young peoples perceptions, the second group concentrating on new business initiatives. The whole group had informal meetings with the mayor, were invited to visit a orphanage and talk with both teachers and children. Most of the new initiatives in this village were taken by women based on need they experienced, as for instance establishing a bakery, a shop, a pig-farm and the orphanage. In addition to the service and goods provided, these initiatives mean locally based new jobs. The village has a high rate of unemployment, and quite a high amount of pensioners moving to the village from neighbouring towns, due to the possibility of being self-suppliant and cheaper housing conditions. The visit in Luven'ga gave us a nice opportunity to get a better understanding of a small settlement and to get familiar with
rural areas in Russia. Small  field work like this has been proved fruitful as a methodological training and an arena for discussions  among researchers from different traditions and countries. A common experience like this is also an important frame for further discussions and development of new projects.


Since the first MOST CCPP book was released in February 1998 it was clear that the project should try to publish a second book. A group consisting of Richard Apostle, Jørgen Ole Bærenholdt and Nils Aarsæther have worked to realise these plans. Efforts have been made to establish contact with Toronto University Press, Canada and  there have been a long, still unfinished  process selecting manuscripts for this publication. The working title of the book  is "The Reflexive North" and we hope it will be released in year 2000.

Coping under stress in a fishery-based community, Faeroe Islands, Russia and

UNESCO MOST in co-operation with UNESCO “Environment and Development in
Coastal Regions and in Small Islands (CSI) decided to support a further development of the CCPP network. In addition to the Schoolessay Project MOST/CSI are also funding a pilot study:

"Coping under stress in a fishery-based community, Faeroe Islands, Russia and Iceland" directed by Jogvan Mørkøre, with Larissa Riabova and Unnur Dis Skaptadottir. This team has conducted fieldwork in Teriberka/Luven'ga in Russia, Bolungarvik in Iceland, and Vagur in Faeroe Island. The work will be reported to UNESCO  in a CCPP scientific report by October 1999.  Funding from The Barents Secretariat contributed to conduct the fieldwork for this project in Russia.

The Women's Worlds 99 conference and MOST CCPP workshop

Funded by the University of Tromsø, International Co-operation and with some additional contributions from The Barents Euro- Arctic Region, Barents Secretariat we managed to arrange a MOST CCPP workshop "Engendering Coping Strategies" during the Women’s Worlds 99. 7th International Interdisciplinary Congress on Women, June 20-26 1999 Tromsø, Norway. The workshop was held in co-operation with "Women and sustainable fishery" co-ordinated by Siri Gerrard, Barbara Neis, Marian Binkley, Stella Williams and Nalini Nayak. 23 participants attended the workshop. Some of the work at these workshop has been followed up by establishing an e-mail- list co-ordinated by Barbara Neis, Canada: Gender Globalization and Fisheries,

From  the MOST CCPP group the following presentations were made:

  • General Introduction on UNESCO MOST CCPP by Unnur Dis Skaptadottir, Iceland
  • "Gendering Coping Strategies in Iceland" by Unnur Dis Skaptadottir and Hulda Proppe
  • "Gendering Coping Strategies: A local approach Teriberka, Russia and Storfjord, Norway" by Larissa Riabova and Marit Aure
  • "Life strategies: views of young Russian girls living in the North" by Britvina Svetlana
A MOST CCPP planning meeting was held during the WW99 conference, discussing a strategy of engendering coping processes.

MOST CCPP Small Business Initiatives - a survey in Faeroe Island

A pilot study is in progress in Faeroe Island. All of the communities in our project need to undertake a survey of existing conditions which govern small business, paying particular attention to notable successes and failures. The future of any, if not most, of the communities on the northern periphery is going to depend on their ability to produce innovative solutions to small-business activity for the next century. Mindful of the fact that scale is no panacea for the difficult economic conditions we frequently face, this
project proposes to take a careful look at the conditions which have created both successful and unsuccessful ventures. This pilot study will be conducted first in the case community of Klaksvik and Vagur in the Faeroe Island. Based on these our intention is to conduct comparative surveys in all case communities in the MOST CCPP. This study is funded by NARP, Nordic Arctic Research Program and responsible researchers are Richard Apostle and Gestur Hovgaard. Ph.D. student Dennis Holm is engaged in the project which is conducted in close cooperation with Jogvan Moerkoere and the University of Faroe Island.

About the funding situation

The secretariat are funded by NOS-S. In 1998 we received 42.000 NOK for fieldwork in Teriberka, Murmansk Region, Russia from The Barents Euro-Arctic Region, Barents Secretariat. The fieldwork is already being  carried out by a Russian, Icelandic and Norwegian team.

NorFA has as in earlier phases of the project funded important MOST CCPP events and we have received a  grant from NARP, Nordic Arctic Research Program.

Marit Aure has got Ph.D. grants from the Norwegian Research Council, programme for Regional Development for a project within the MOST CCPP called "Local coping processes and  regional development. Social capital, economic co-operation in Russian and Norwegian coastal communities". This means that Marit Aure will quit her job (from 31.12.99) at the secretariat and that we are trying to figure out how to organise the secretariat the last year of the first phase of the project.

The Norwegian Research Council, programme for Regional Development has also decided to support a Ph.D. program based on MOST CCPP, within the Department of Planning and Community Studies at University of Tromsø.


Year 2000 is the end of the first phase of the MOST CCP Project. We will use efforts this year to secure a second phase of the project, report the first phase, arrange a PhD course and plan a conference to sum up the project, so far. This conference will be a new meeting place for practitioners, politicians and researchers, and we want to involve people from the MOST CCPP localities in the planning process.

An invitation...

We invite all of you to use the list to inform about local activities,
co-operation processes and other issues of interest! To avoid the spread of
virus, please send the message as text in the textbody of your e-mail to :

Best Regards
Jørgen Ole Bærenholdt
Nils Aarsæther
Marit Aure
research officer

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