New book explores the Nordic region’s role in the Arctic

What role does research play in the relationship between the Nordic region and the Arctic? And how is science used in diplomacy and the development of policy? A group of researchers have studied these questions and are presenting their results in a new book.

Professor Sverker Sörlin is editor of Science, Geopolitics and Culture in the Polar Region, which analyses socially relevant issues related to the Arctic and Antarctic. Among other things, the contributors explore how the Arctic Nordic region has been “formed as a composite of science, diplomacy and policy”. Relations between the Nordic countries and Russia, Canada and the US are investigated as well.

For many years, research in the polar areas has been of interest to decision-makers for military reasons – especially during the Cold War. As a result, the Nordic countries have developed a position of strength in glaciology and geophysics. However, cultural and social issues have also been the object of researchers’ attention, and Dr Sörlin has consolidated perspectives on science, geopolitics and culture into this new book.

Science, Geopolitics and Culture in the Polar Region is part of the cross-Nordic research project, Nordic Spaces, for which NordForsk has provided co-financing. The purpose of the project has been to gain more knowledge about what makes the Nordic region unique. For example, how has the Nordic region distinguished itself from other regions in Europe during the past 200 years? And what ideals, activities and territories can be characterised as specifically Nordic?

Read more about the research project Nordic Spaces.

Science, Geopolitics and Culture in the Polar Region is published by Ashgate.


Science, Geopolitics and Culture in the Polar Region is part of the series The Nordic Experience:

  • Performing Nordic Heritage – Everyday Practices and Institutional Culture
  • Science, Geopolitics and Culture in the Polar Region: Norden Beyond Borders
  • Communicating the North: Media Structures and Images in the Making of the Nordic Region
  • Nordic Dance Spaces: Practicing and Imagining a Region
  • Models of Democracy in Nordic and Baltic Europe: Political Institutions and Discourse

Sverker Sörlin is a professor of environmental history at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm.



Text: Linn Hoff Jensen