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.
The project combines three case studies that look at three instantiations of the translation processes.
We will look at:
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.
student assistant in the DFG project "Worldviews of Ice"