UNESCO Social and Human Sciences
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Dear friends and members of the MOST Circumpolar Coping Processes Project,

The new year, the new millennium and the new staffing at the secretariat represented all together less challenges than the entrance into the final year of the project. How to complete this project, how to conclude and how to continue? All these questions were asked not only by the co-ordinators, the steering committee and the research officer in charge, but also by the members and friends of our network. This newsletter deals with the decisions made on how to sum up the ongoing Circumpolar Coping Processes Project, and the steps that are taken and planned to be taken in order to continue our work in the circumpolar areas.

The new name(s) at the secretariat

Briefly we will draw your attention to the new personal situation at the secretariat in Tromsø. Marit Aure who worked for the last three years as the research officer has quit at the end of 1999. With funding from THE RESEARCH COUNCIL OF NORWAY she starts in close connection with the MOST CCPP the work with her Ph.D. project where she compares coping processes on both sides of the Russian Norwegian border in the North. To replace her, Jochen Peters has been hired and has been in charge at the secretariat from the beginning of January 2000. His master degree in political science includes as special area international politics, and he has administrative experience from the tourism sector.

CCPP Workshop at Mekrijärvi on Coping Strategies and Regional Policy

From November, 15-19 2000, a MOST CCPP workshop will be arranged at the Mekrijärvi Research Station, Mekrijärvi, Finland. This workshop will be mainly based on paper presentations and take place in close co-operation with the Department of Geography, University of Joensuu, Finland. We will ask all of you to mark this date. We will later get back to you with more details of the workshop and the papers to be presented. To fund this workshop, we have already applied the NORDREGIO.
A third book based on papers presented and discussed at the workshop in Mekrijärvi will be planned at the conference

Concluding Conference 2001

The aim of the concluding conference June, 3 - 6 2001, in Skibotn, Storfjord Community, Northern Norway, has to be pursued on two levels. On the one hand, the conference should be used to gather as many as possible of the researchers and users involved in the work of the MOST CCPP network, to discuss the results as well as the further opportunities of the circumpolar network. The importance of the presence of the users has to be stressed here, and we will learn from the user conference in Iceland, March 1998. Among the results we will present the publications of the project so far (see later), and finally the final drafts for the third book on Coping Strategies and Regional Policy.

Changes in the steering committee

In January the project received the message that we have lost Gennady Luzin - he died in a traffic accident on 25 January. Professor and doctor Luzin was director of the Institute of Economic Problems of the Kola Science Centre in Apatity. He was also the Russian steering committee member for the MOST CCPP. Recently he was elected as a member of the Duma of the Russian Federation.

Gennady Luzin was since its start heavily involved in the MOST CCPP project, and attended several meetings of the MOST CCPP in the North. He was well known as an energetic director, always eager to debate. His mood often changed; he could be angry but he always ended up being helpful and supportive. Some of us met him the last time at the large conference in Apatity in March 1999, where we were also having a CCPP workshop.

As a consequence of the death of Gennady Luzin, the senior researcher Larissa Riabova at the Institute of Economic Problems of the Kola Science Centre was asked to enter the MOST CCPP steering committee. She accepted and is hereby welcomed to the steering committee.

At the same time another new name can be noticed among the members of the Steering Committee of MOST Circumpolar Coping Process Project. Professor Markku Tykkyläinen, Department of Geography at the University of Joensuu, Finland replaces Martti Siisiainen as the finish represent in the Steering Committee. Markku Tykkyläinen, beside of being professor in Human Geography, holds the presidency of the Geographical Society of Finland and is a member of the council and executive council of the Finish National Network of Universities and Polytechnics for East and South-East Asian Studies. In addition to be involved in numerous projects, he stands behind more than 150 publications. More information can be found on his homepage: http://www.joensuu.fi/geo/humgeo/markku_t.html. Hereby the project welcomes Markku.

The steering committee is made up by:

Denmark: Jørgen Ole Bærenholdt (coordinator MOST CCPP),
Department of Geography and International Development Studies, Roskilde University, Roskilde, e -mail: job@ruc.dk

Norway: Nils Aarsæther (co-coordinator MOST CCPP),
Department of Planning and community studies, University of Tromsø, Norway, e-mail: Nilsaa@isv.uit.no

Finland: Markku Tykkyläinen,
Department of Geography, University of Joensuu, Joensuu, e-mail: Markku.Tykkylainen@joensuu.fi:

Sverige: Kjerstin Hägg Umeå
Institutt BUSV, Lärarutbildning, Umeå Universitet, Umeå, e-mail: kerstin.hagg@educ.umu.se

Greenland: Jens Kaalhauge Nilelsen
University of Greenland, Nuuk, e-mail: jkn.unigreen@greennet.gl

Faeroe Islands: Jógvan Mørkøre
Tórshavn, e-mail: jogvanm@sleipnir.fo

Iceland: Unnur Dis Skaptadottir
Institute of Social Science, University og Iceland, Reykjavik, e-mail: unnurd@rhi.hi.is

Canada: Richard Apostle,
Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, e-mail: apostle@is.dal.ca

Russia: Larissa Riabova,
Institute of Economic Problems, Kola Science Centre, Apatity, e-mail: larissar@iep.kolasc.net.ru

Collection for Vladimir Didyk

At this point we would like to draw your attention to the situation of Vladimir Didyk who survived the accident, but was seriously injured. Related to his difficult situation, Vladimir's friends within the network and the two co-ordinators of the MOST CCPP project launched the idea of a collection for Vladimir Didyk (the initiative was made known for the first time through the electronically Newsletter of MOST CCPP in March) to support him and his family. They are sure that every contribution will be of great help for him and his family, both in regard to practical matters, and especially in regard to moral support.

Please, do not feel forced to give a contribution in the form of money. This is a purely individually and voluntary request totally independent from the work we are doing in the MOST CCPP. The reason that we have chosen this way to inform you about our collection is simply to reach as many as possible of those who know Vladimir and have learned to appreciate him and his work.

The MOST CCPP has opened a bank account in Norway from which we will transfer all money to Vladimir. The details are:

    name of the bank account: MOST CCPP project c/o Jochen Peters
    number: 4750. 14. 19148
    name of the bank Sparebanken 1 Nord-Norge, Norway
Please notice, there is no need for further details regarding the address or registration number of the bank. In Norway the bank account number is sufficient!

These details are all you need to transfer money. In advance, we can assure you that every contribution will be helpful for Vladimir and will give him practical and moral support.

The plans ahead

At a meeting of the working committee in Tromsø in January 2000, the future strategy was discussed. As a result, a threefold strategy was developed. The overarching goal is, in order to sum up and to conclude the first phase of MOST CCPP, a workshop based on paper presentations planned in Mekrijärvi, Finland, 15.-19. November 2000, followed up by a concluding conference in the community of Storfjord, Norway. The conference is scheduled for June, 3 - 6 2001. Secondly, a framework for the second phase of the MOST CCPP project, called Northern Coping Strategies, has been developed. And third, in co-operation with the Swedish University of Agriculture, the framework for the "Nordic Ph.D. school" is for the first time presented in the application to the Nordic Council of Ministers.

Northern Coping Strategies

The outline of the framework for the MOST CCPP phase 2 is build on the achievement and results of the phase 1. Here the network succeeded in building an international network or researcher team including Nordic, Canadian and Russian researchers with very different background. More internationally interesting research results might be achieved by a concentrated effort into the areas we have already been studying by a number of connected projects. This work will be built on the theoretical and methodological approaches of the second book "The reflexive North" and with a focus on what is common to most Northern peripheries: 1) the network society of the information Age, 2) the potentials of tourism and 3) the state and inter-state development policies.

As a research strategy this will include priorities to intensive case studies combined with a continued effort of theoretical and methodological reflections in relations to the context studied. One topic to be included is how localities are integrated or depend on the economic, social and cultural institutions of the territorial nation-states and of other political projects such as the Nordic Co-operation, the European Union and various forms of trans-regions.

Due to the substantial transaction costs of co-ordination and distribution of knowledge necessary to run such an international research project, a phase 2 require a continued full-scale secretariat working from Tromsø. By taking these considerations in account, Nils Aarsæther applied on behalf of the MOST CCPP network the "Joint Committee of the Nordic Social Science Research Centre" for the financial funding to be continued for the period of 2001 2004.

Nordic Ph.D. school

In close co-operation with the Swedish University of Agriculture, MOST CCPP approached the Nordic Council of Ministers with a project called Nordic Ph.D. school. The aim of the project is to investigate how different types of regional policies facilitate the development of local coping strategies in Nordic peripheries. This is done by developing the theoretical and methodological perspectives in a research school starting in four countries with one PhD-student from each country. An important aspect of the theoretical and methodological approach is to involve local action groups in the processes of research and evaluation.

The theoretical key concept is "coping strategies" which includes processes that combine innovations, social capital and local identity for meeting the challenges of globalisation. The project focuses on whether there is a special Nordic combination of association, reciprocity and identity that creates sustainable societies even in marginal areas.

The research school is structured by four elements: 1) a scientific co-ordination, 2) courses and workshops twice a year, 3) a web based conference system for keeping contact between the courses and workshops, and 4) case-studies. Every PhD student fulfils two case-studies, one in their own country and one in another country. The fieldwork is bases on qualitative methods and provides empirical data for their doctoral theses.

2000 - activities

The first period of four month in 2000 where characterised by many different activities, stretching from applications for grants, presentation of the MOST CCPP network on different international conferences to the preparation of altogether three publications to be published in 2000.

The co-ordinators of the project, in close co-operation with the secretariat have applied at and for:

  • JOINT COMMITTEE OF THE NORDIC SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH CENTRE (NOS-S) with the project Northern Coping Strategies for funding to run a full-scale secretariat for the periode 2001 2004, covering phase 2 of the MOST CCPP project.
  • NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERS with the project of the Nordic Ph.D. - school. This application aims to finance the first year of one Ph.D. project in each of the four countries Iceland, Finland, Sweden and Norway to make up the core group of doctoral students.
  • NORDIC CENTRE FOR SPATIAL DEVELOPMENT (NORDREGIO) with the project Coping Strategies and Regional Policies Social Capital in the Nordic Peripheries that includes the workshop in November 2000 at Mekrijärvi, Finland and field research at Greenland in 2001.
  • THE RESEARCH COUNCIL OF NORWAY (NFR) with the project Local development and global networks This project represents the Norwegian part of the Nordic Ph.D. - school.
  • The NORDIC ARCTIC RESEARCH PROGRAMME (NARP) and "NORDIC ATLANTIC CO-OPERATION (NORA) for funding related to the concluding conference in 2001.
  • NORDIC ACADEMY FOR ADVANCED STUDY (NorFA) for funding for Jørgen Ole Bærenholdt as professor II at the University of Tromsø and as supervisor for the Nordic Ph.D. - school.

International conferences

At the UNESCO conference on "Social Science and Governance" in Utrecht / The Netherlands, 20-21 March 2000, the Research Officer from the MOST CCPP secretariat in Tromsø, Jochen Peters presented the project and the network with its research approach in general, while Larissa Riabova (Russia), Unnur Dis Skapatadottir (Iceland), and Jogvan Mørkøre (Faroe Island) presented their case study "Coping under Stress in Fisheries Communities" This case study is supposed to be published by UNESCO autumn 2000.

Under the auspices of UNESCO and its "International Year for the Culture of Peace", the conference on "Higher Education for Peace" was arranged in Tromsø from May, 4 - 6 2000. Here the MOST CCPP network and its research approach was presented by Jochen Peters.

On the NORDREGIO meeting in Roskilde, April, 4 - 6 2000, (financial supported by NORDREGIO) Jørgen Ole Bærenholdt, Nils Aarsæther, Markku Tykkyläinen, (all members of the steering committee) and Esko Letho, representing the University of Joensuu and Jochen Peters discussed the re-design of the research plan presented to NORDREGIO. The aim of this research plan is to investigate how different types of regional policies, and the interplay between them, affect the formation of social capital and the coping strategies in Nordic peripheries. Fieldwork on Greenland, Iceland, Sweden and Finland is included, as well as the workshop in Mekrijärvi November 2000.


THE REFLEXIVE NORTH, edited by Aarsæther, Nils & Jørgen Ole Bærenholdt represents book number two of the MOST CCPP with 11 chapters by 13 researchers in the network. The book is to be published by Toronto University Press, Toronto autumn 2000.

NORTHERN FUTURES YOUNG VOICES the final report of the school essay project will be published including pictures of the localities by UNESCO during summer 2000.

COPING UNDER STRESS IN FISHERIES COMMUNITIES written by Larissa Riabova (Russia), Unnur Dis Skaptadottir (Iceland), and Jogvan Mørkøre (Faroe Island) covers one fishery locality in each of the three countries and is supposed to be published by UNESCO autumn 2000.

Jørgen Ole Bærenholdt, 2000: Circumpolar Coping Strategies Embedding Transnational Cooperation in Local Practices in Greenland, Etude/Inuit/Studies, 2000 (1) (in press).

guest professor

On May, 15 2000, the project received a grant from the Nordic Academy of Advanced Study (NorFA) on the position of a guest professor, Jørgen Ole Bærenholdt, Roskilde University Center, Danmark. Jørgen Ole will from August 1, 2000 for altogether three year fill the position of a guest professor at the Department of Community and Planning studies at the University of Tromsø. The application was submitted with the other applications for the extension of the MOST CCPP- to NOS-S on the financial support for another four years of a full time research officer in Tromsø (Northern Coping Strategies), and Nordic Council of Ministers on the Nordic PhD school - in mind.

This position will strengthen both the content of our common research project, and guarantee a high quality research. Furthermore, Jørgen Ole Bærenholdt, who together with Nils Aarsæther is the project co-ordinator, will be central in the preparation, the supervision and the examination of the fieldwork, and will assist and co-ordinate the preparation of the scientific report(s).

Future activities

Jørgen Ole Bærenholdt and Nils Aarsæther will be representing the MOST CCPP network on the Third European Urban and Regional Studies Conference "A new Europe? Urban and regional economies, cultures and governance" at Voss, Norway, September 17-19 2000. Their paper will deal with the social capital aspect of coping strategies.

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