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Back in Time? The Revival of Mining and its Impacts on Endogenous Regional Development

Research project

The Barents region is rich in natural resources and thus it was considered the land of the future. Economic restructuring contested this situation and hence, focus has been on endogenous development favoring new industries and nature protection. In recent years the growing demand for natural resources has meant a renewed interest in the region’s assets competing with the endogenous development strategies. The project aims at analyzing to what extent the changes caused by the increasing demand for the Barents region’s natural resources challenge the previous regional policies aiming at endogenous development and entail a return to a resource-based economy and labor market. The following research questions are answered: What are the overall tendencies regarding economic and labor market change in different areas of the Barents region? What factors do explain region-specific or local divergence? What are the conflicts caused by competing interests for land use? What are the attitudes of various regional and national stakeholders towards the development of the region? The project departs from theories on economic restructuring, pleasure peripheries and natural resource use. Methodologically regression analysis and GIS are employed to measure how different development options interrelate with economic growth and labor market change. Interviews with key stakeholders provide a deeper understanding of processes that may explain varying economic change in the northern periphery.

Head of project

Dieter Müller
Professor, other position
E-mail
Email

Project overview

Project period:

2009-01-01 2011-12-31

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Faculty of Social Sciences, Transportation Research Unit

Research area

Human geography

Project description

This project aims at analyzing to what extent the changes caused by the increasing demand for the Barents region’s natural resources challenge the previous regional policies aiming at endogenous development and entail a return to a resource-based economy and labor market.

The following research questions are answered:
1) What are the overall tendencies regarding economic and labor market change in different areas of the Barents region?
2) What factors do explain region-specific or local divergence?
3) What are the conflicts caused by competing interests for land use?
4) What are the attitudes of various regional and national stakeholders towards the development of the region?

The study area is the Nordic parts of the Barents region, i.e. northern Sweden, Finland and Norway. The development in the Russian part is also related to when relevant for the changes within the study area. Within this was geographical area, focus is on the sparsely populated municipalities. The study period is mainly the 1990s and afterwards.