The Constitution and Mobilisation of Political Power through Utopian Narratives in the Arctic
Title: The Constitution and Mobilisation of Political Power through Utopian Narratives in the Arctic
Author: DAHL, Justiina
Citation: The Polar Journal, 2012, 2, 2, 256-273
ISSN: 2154-896X; 2154-8978
Since the fifteenth century, a series of similar utopian discourses, understood as the expressions of social, technical and material desires for the unknown, have surrounded the European, Russian, and later the North American, conceptions of human engagement with the Arctic. First, the Arctic region has been described as a realm of potential economic prosperity. Second, the Arctic has served as a site of national heroism and nation building. Third, it has been used as a blank canvas upon which to envision the advancement of modernity. The Arctic utopias have thus been bound up with the advancement of three more general political projects: the legitimisation of the domination of a territory, the propagation of high modernist ideology and the establishment of mercantilism with modern political economy as its successor. This article investigates how utopian discourses of the Arctic have been constructed, communicated and transformed over time, and how these utopian narratives have conditioned the changing geopolitics of the region. The focus of this analysis is on the socio-historical conditions under which language, meaning and social power interact. The examples for the primary analysis are the Soviet Union in the 1930s and contemporary Canada.
Received: 02 May 2012 Accepted: 10 Jun 2012 Version of record first published: 12 Dec 2012
Files in this item
There are no files associated with this item.