08 June 2017

ICASS IX, International Congress on Arctic Social Sciences

The Ninth International Congress on Arctic Social Sciences “People & Place” (ICASS IX)

Photo Credit Mia Landauer

Photo Credit Mia Landauer

The 9th International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences (ICASS IX) was organized by the International Arctic Social Sciences Association (IASSA). It was hosted by Arcum (Arctic Research Centre), Sámi dutkan (Language studies) and Vaartoe (Centre for Sami Research) at Umeå University, Sweden, 8 to 12 June 2017.

Due to rapid and extensive changes in the Arctic peoples and places in the north are facing challenges to their livelihoods, environment and culture. Climate change, industrial extraction, pollution, globalization, migration, food- and water insecurity and widening socio-economic gaps in the Arctic are not only affecting Arctic residents but causing global consequences as well.

Social sciences and humanities must tackle these challenges faced by the complex Arctic system. Through focusing on people and place this conference presented scientific work on sustainability, political systems, demography, infrastructures, histories, languages, legal systems, land and water resources, public health and many others. AFI researchers Dr. Mia Landauer and Dr. Anastasia Emelyanova and AFI core group member Prof. Dr. Lassi Heininen participated the conference and gave talks on risk governance and human populations in the Arctic region. 

Dr. Anastasia Emelyanova, a Research Scholar of the World Population Program and AFI, gave a talk on the «Futures of the Arctic Human Populations: Factoring Educational Attainment» at the session Solving Arctic Puzzles, as part of larger Settlements in the Arctic theme of the congress. The session discussed possibilities to solve the most emerging Arctic challenges, where population dynamics and human capital are crucial to forecast in order to find solutions and tackle the problems in the future. The IIASA innovative approach to factor education into projections provided useful insights on how the Arctic peoples will be looking like in terms of their population structure and higher education capacities by 2050. 

Dr. Anastasia Emelyanova shared the results of her AFI postdoctoral project at the sessions of ICASS “Settlements in the Arctic: Solving Arctic Puzzles” and NDS “Educational inequalities” with a speech entitled “The futures of the Arctic human population: factoring educational attainment in projections”. In this presentations, Anastasia addressed projections and forecasts for the Arctic, approached within the three multifactor scenarios she suggested for the Arctic population development forward to 2050. Dr. Emelyanova introduced the audience the innovative IIASA methodology on projections by education alongside with several case studies across the Arctic, showing how the human capital via stock of educated Arctic residents will change in the future.  

Dr. Mia Landauer from IIASA Risk and Resilience program and Arctic Futures Initiative, together with Ass. Prof. Dr. Roman Sidortsov  (Energy Policy, Michigan Technological University) organised a special session on Risk governance in the Arctic. The motivation to organise this session emerged from factors such as remoteness, seasonal darkness, extreme climate conditions, and data scarcity that pose particular challenges to industrial projects in the High North. These factors increase risks associated with industrial development in the Arctic and Subarctic. This special session focused on the emerging approach to handling these risks – risk governance. In particular, it introduced the socioeconomic, political, cultural, policy, legal, and regulatory issues related to participation in the risk governance process. It also discussed how to identify gaps in research and ideas how to bridge those gaps. The session consisted of four presentations, of which two of them highlighted also local case studies from Russia and Finland. 

Professor of Arctic Politics, Dr. Lassi Heininen from the University of Lapland, Finland, started the session with his presentation The 'Anthropocene' reveals environmental risks and requires of slowing down mass-scale offshore projects in the Arctic.

Dr. Roman Sidortsov, assistant professor of Energy Policy at the Michigan Technological University, the United States, gave a talk about Participation without governance or governance without participation? The case of the Russian risk policy, legal, and regulatory regime.

Dr. Florian Stammler, a Research Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Lapland, presented on how to use local knowledge to minimize risk in Arctic industrial development in Russia.

Mia Landauer’s presentation was on Participatory governance of infrastructure project development affecting local communities in Finland.


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Last edited: 26 June 2019


Mia Landauer

Guest Research Scholar Cooperation and Transformative Governance Research Group - Advancing Systems Analysis Program

Guest Research Scholar Systemic Risk and Resilience Research Group - Advancing Systems Analysis Program


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