Post Petroleum Security in Lofoten: How identity matters
Based on over 60 interviews and fieldwork in Lofoten, Norway, over a five-year period (2008 – 2013), this paper argues that local identity is a ‘missing link’ with significant explanatory value when analyzing the contested matter of whether to open for oil drilling in this region. Through a Giddensian approach to ontological security, we identify a major discrepancy between local and national discourses on ‘post-petroleum security’ concerns for the Lofoten region and its inhabitants – concerns that neither national political debates nor academic discourse have adequately included. Thus, we highlight time as a variable separating local and state-centered perspectives on what sustains (ontological) security. We show how an understanding of historically viable communities is of core concern for the re-establishment of an identity-based security. Further, environmental and societal risks associated with petroleum development influence the perceived balance between short-term needs for jobs, and long-term needs for continued production of local, practice-based knowledge upon which a specific coastal identity is built. We also discuss how Lofoten has been put on the petroleum map as one of the last petroleum frontiers, and conclude that an analysis including identity as a variable can inform international debates concerning the ‘opening’ of the circumpolar Arctic for extractive industries.
Copyright (c) 2017 Arctic Review
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Authors contributing to The Arctic Review on Law and Politics retain copyright to their articles but agree to publish them under a Creative Commons CC-BY 4.0 License. The terms of this license permit third parties to freely copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, and to adapt, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially, as long as appropriate credit is given, a link to the license is provided, and any changes made are indicated. The foregoing may be done in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses the third party or their use.