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  • The Worldviews of Ice

    Photo by Mathias Albert

The Worldviews of Ice

Constructions of the Arctic at the Science/Politics Interface

Project description

Abstract

The Arctic region is a social and spatial construction, and such constructions shape the formulation of both regional governance problems as well as their possible solutions. There is a variety of narratives about what the Arctic ‘is’, and these narratives rest on/are supported by a variety of images often imbued with geopolitical meaning.

‘The Worldviews of Ice‘ seeks to inquire how geopolitical images contribute to framing mostly natural science research agendas in and on the Arctic. The project aims to understand how these images feed back into the policymaking process through the particularly dense networks between science and politics in Arctic research.

How are these narratives constructed?

How are these narratives translated between science and policy?

1 - Research on the role of expertise and epistemic communities in international relations, particularly also relating to their power-exercising function;

2 - Research on the role and relevance of science in Arctic governance, routinely subsumed under the concept of ‘science diplomacy’;

3 - Research in critical geopolitics, focusing on the construction and the political effects of imaginaries about the Arctic;

How competing narratives of the Arctic, imbued with geopolitical images, are produced in, and altered through, closely interconnected epistemic communities that link the sciences to politics.

  1. to trace how these images are co-produced at relevant interfaces between scientific and political communities dealing with Arctic issues
  2. to inquire about how these images are transmitted into, and received within, wider Arctic epistemic communities;
  3. to show in an exemplary fashion how such images can influence, and actually have influenced, policy-making.

The project combines three case studies that look at three instantiations of the translation processes.

We will look at:

  • The interaction between scientific actors in the field of Arctic research and public funding agencies in three select countries (Germany, Canada and Norway);
  • The framings used by natural scientists working on the Arctic from a select variety of countries and disciplines;
  • The intensity and quality of the interaction between scientists and political actors at the Arctic Council as the main forum for informed regional governance.

Case Study 1 - Preparing knowledge: funding - examine the development of funding priorities on Arctic research in three select countries (Germany, Canada, Norway) between 1990 and 2020 and trace the nature of consultation processes between the main actors involved on the science and the politics side.

Case Study 2 - Generating knowledge: images in research - explore worldviews through the evolution of programmatic statements of major Arctic research institutes, and through in-depth interviews with Arctic scientists from a variety of national and disciplinary backgrounds. 

Case study 3 - Transmitting knowledge: science in the Arctic Council - The case study will analyse the intensity and quality of interactions between actors from science and politics in Arctic Council meetings.

Research Team

Prof. Dr. Holger Straßheim

Prof. Dr. Holger Straßheim

Professor of Political Sociology

Telephone
+49 521 106-4627
Telephone secretary
+49 521 106-3868
Room
Gebäude X C3-210
Prof. Dr. Mathias Albert

Prof. Dr. Mathias Albert

Professor of Political Science

Telephone
+49 521 106-3999
Telephone secretary
+49 521 106-6925
Room
Gebäude X C3-212
Dr.  Daniela Portella Sampaio

Dr. Daniela Portella Sampaio

Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin AG Albert (ausgeschieden)

Svenja Holste

Svenja Holste

Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin im DFG Projekt „Weltsichten im Eis“ /“Worldviews of Ice“ (Prof.Albert und Prof. Straßheim)

Telephone
+49 521 106-12986
Telephone secretary
+49 521 106-6925
Room
Gebäude X C4-223
Mikko von Bremen

Mikko von Bremen

Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter im DFG Projekt „Weltsichten im Eis“ /“Worldviews of Ice“ (Prof.Albert und Prof. Straßheim)

Telephone
+49 521 106-12986
Telephone secretary
+49 521 106-3868
Room
Gebäude X C4-223
Moritz Köster

Moritz Köster

student assistant in the DFG project "Worldviews of Ice"

E-Mail
moritz.koester@uni-bielefeld.de
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