В среду, 17 февраля, в 18:00 на факультете антропологии ЕУСПб (ауд. 371) состоялось очередное заседание Сибирского семинара. С докладом "Social sustainability in/and the Arctic energyscape: an overview" выступила Ханна Лемпинен (Арктический центр Лапландского Университета, Рованиеми, Финляндия). Доклад прошёл на английском языке.
Contemporary energy developments in the Arctic are predominantly discussed against the backdrop of estimated growth in global energy demands, dwindling reserves and potential of political instability at existing production sites, warming climate and technological developments, which are expected to push energy extraction activities further towards the previously inaccessible north. At least on the level of political and popular discourse, the Arctic is becoming the world’s new energy province, where ‘energy’ is understood as production of hydrocarbons for “the energy hungry world”.
In energy-related debates – not least so in the Arctic – sustainability is a key argument both for and against different energy sources and individual projects. However, these debates tend to focus on the economic and environmental sustainability aspects of planned and ongoing developments. As a result, social sustainability concerns associated with energy remain sidelined or simplified to employment, income and indigenous population’s concerns. Academic literature on the ‘social’ in the sustainability debate (and beyond) remains equally elusive.
Against this background, the focus of my ongoing PhD research has been twofold. On the one hand, my work attempts to diversify the ways in which energy is understood in the context of the Arctic beyond production and exports of hydrocarbons; on the other, through the conceptual focus on social sustainability I take part in theoretical debates over the notion of the social with an aim to move towards an open-ended, situated and more-than-human perspective to the concept. Together, these emphases contribute to drafting a broader and a more nuanced understanding of energy and the ‘social’ in the Arctic energyscape.
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Hanna Lempinen is a Researcher, PhD candidate based at the Arctic Centre at the University of Lapland, Finland. Her background is International Relations (M.Soc.Sci 2010) and Science Communication (MA 2011) and in her doctoral dissertation she is focusing on conceptual debates on the notion of social sustainability in the case study context of the Arctic energyscape. Alongside her research, she has also been working as a part-time university teacher, freelance journalist and as the Book Review Editor of the journal Polar Record.