Article ID: CBB595838984

Science as national belonging: The construction of Svalbard as a Norwegian space (December 2016)


Roberts, Peder (Author)
Eric Paglia (Author)

Social Studies of Science
Volume: 46
Issue: 6
Pages: 894-911

Publication Date: December 2016
Edition Details: Guest edited issue on the Field Station, edited by P. Wenzel Geissler, Ann H. Kelly, and Sergio Sismondo
Language: English

This article examines how science has been employed to establish, maintain, and contest senses of belonging on Svalbard, an Arctic archipelago administered by Norway since 1925 under an international treaty. Our central argument is that the process of constructing Svalbard as a space belonging to Norway has long been intertwined with the processes of describing and representing the archipelago and that participating in those processes has also permitted other states to articulate their own narratives of belonging – on Svalbard in particular and in the Arctic more generally. We deploy the concept of belonging to capture a sense of legitimate presence and stakeholdership that we do not believe can be adequately captured by narrow concepts of sovereignty. Norway’s historic and current use of science validates (and even naturalizes) its rule over Svalbard. At the same time, other states use science on Svalbard to articulate geopolitical scripts that portray them as stakeholders in an Arctic that is of transregional relevance due to the effects of climate change.

Included in

Article P. Wenzel Geissler; Ann H. Kelly (December 2016) A home for science: The life and times of Tropical and Polar field stations. Social Studies of Science (pp. 797-808). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Sörlin, Sverker
Wråkberg, Urban
Doel, Ronald E.
Cronon, William
Staley, Richard A.
Loo, Tina
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