REXSAC at ICASS IX: Call for abstracts

November 11th, 2016

The ninth International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences – ICASS IX – will be held in Umeå 8-12 June 2017. The call for individual abstract is out with submission deadline 16 December 2016. REXSAC wants to especially direct your attention to session 18.12 Resource extraction and sustainable Arctic communities: interdisciplinary perspectives and session 17.14 Scenario methodologies: Evaluation and ways forward (abstracts below).

Full list of sessions and submission guidelines

17.14 Scenario methodologies: Evaluation and ways forward

Convener: Annika E. Nilsson


Scenario methodologies have become popular for assessing challenges in connections with rapid Arctic change. Approaches range from quantitative methodologies with close links to climate modelling to qualitative methods that aim to produce narratives about potential futures. Some approaches are built on extensive engagement with local communities while others rely more on input from researchers, sometimes in collaboration with representative of specific sectors. The scalar perspectives vary from the very local to the circumpolar. The purpose of this session is to share experiences and take stock of advantages and challenges with different scenario methodologies in order to inform further method development. Questions to address include: How and by whom can the results be used? How can we ensure the validity and usefulness of the results? What role do various scenario methods play in relation to other research approaches aimed at assessing Arctic change? What are the pitfalls to avoid in designing scenario-based research? Papers are invited that present and reflect on scenario methods that have been used in the Arctic context, where the presentations in the session will form the basis for a joint discussion on ways forward.

18.12 Resource extraction and sustainable Arctic communities: interdisciplinary perspectives

Convener: Dag Avango


This session will explore how and why Arctic communities deal with the combined challenges from extractive industries and rapid climate change. It will also ask how new forms of analysis and collaboration can enhance understanding of how resource extraction can help or hinder the creation of sustainable communities in the Arctic. This will include new forms of knowledge coproduction between Arctic communities and natural scientists, in which the perspectives of Arctic residents are accorded greater weight in the research process, but also the integration of perspectives from disciplines such as heritage studies, tourism studies, and cultural anthropology. New approaches such as these are necessary for understanding the interlinked pressures posed by climate change, resource prices, and political structures. The session will bring together scholars within REXSAC (Resource Extraction and Sustainable Arctic Communities – a Nordic Centre of Excellence in Arctic research, funded by Nordforsk. REXSAC studies extractive resource industries in the Arctic as cultural, social, economic, and ecological phenomena from analysis of why resource extraction commences, to what consequences it has for communities in the Arctic and beyond, and what opportunities exist for transitioning toward post – extractive futures. REXSAC uses a number of case studies, principally from Sweden, Greenland and Svalbard, to understand how lessons from the past and present can inform decision-making as well as to compare Arctic experiences with other parts of the world. The center is led by KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm University and Stockholm Environment Institute, cooperating with 12 partner institutions in the Nordic countries, Canada and Russia. The researchers involved work across the humanities, the natural and social sciences and within several communities in the Arctic.

The session has a number of confirmed participants from REXSAC and through the wide networks of the center there is a substantial amount of potential paper givers. Thus we can foresee a potentially large number of papers under this heading, amounting to a minimum two 90 min sessions, potentially more, even after a selection of papers. We also envision a supplementary roundtable, including key contributions from within and outside of REXSAC. Thus, to these sessions, we welcome contributions from around the circumpolar North that illuminate how new forms of collaborative research can help address the challenges facing Arctic communities in the present and future.