UNESCO Social and Human Sciences
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MOST Circumpolar Coping Processes Project (CCPP)

Coping locally and regionally with global economic,
technological and environmental transformations:
a circumpolar perspective

Tromsoe, August 1996

Together with the Arctic Co-operation Seminar on Sociology, in which participated social scientists from Norway, Sweden, Finland, Canada, the Russian Federation and Iceland, the University of Tromsø organised on 30 August 1996 a workshop on the recently approved MOST project on "coping locally and regionally with global economic, technological and environmental transformations: a circumpolar perspective" (CCPP). Its funding perspectives, research agenda, pilot activities and strategies for the next six months were the main points discussed during the workshop. The MOST Programme was presented in the Arctic Seminar, and a meeting was held with CCPP participants present in Tromsø.

The research agenda

Some comments were made by the MOST Secretariat on the project co-ordinated by the University of Tromsø and the Roskilde University:

  • some elements were provided on the nature of the practical problem the project will attempt to solve through the envisaged research. CCPP document indicates that northern circumpolar communities and regions face potential marginalisation but the causes of this process are not provided.
  • "bottom-up" strategies are proposed to identify and analyse coping responses, involving local authorities, civil society and enterprise work. It is also positive that the methodology based on comparative case studies in North-East Canada, Greenland, the Nordic countries and North-West Russia takes into account central-local aspects and a variety of disciplines (sociology, social anthropology and political science).
  • although some efforts have been made concerning the participation of indigenous peoples, the research team does not yet follow basic gender guidelines in its composition.
  • the research is expected to provide policy guidelines for the mobilisation of local knowledge and employment. As the issues treated are of immediate interest to policy-makers, a brief outline of participating governments policies for the sector should be provided once the practical problem and its causes have been indicated.

Professor Jorgen Bærenholdt presented the project brochure and its main research topics. The project will be structured around five main themes:

  • structures of resource-based economic sectors
  • qualification and new modes of communication between the local and the global actors
  • social and cultural processes
  • political integration issues
  • transnational regional co-operation

This common framework will be used by different research teams, so that the results and the analysis of case-studies can be compared at the regional level. The countries/regions involved are: Canada, Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Russian Federation.

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