Science, Geopolitics and Culture in the Polar Region: Norden Beyond Borders, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Science, Geopolitics and Culture in the Polar Region

Norden Beyond Borders, 1st Edition

By Sverker Sörlin


462 pages

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Hardback: 9781472409690
pub: 2013-08-29
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315607801
pub: 2016-04-01
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Throughout the twentieth century, glaciologists and geophysicists from Denmark, Norway and Sweden made important scientific contributions across the Arctic and Antarctic. This research was of acute security and policy interest during the Cold War, as knowledge of the polar regions assumed military importance. But scientists also helped make the polar regions Nordic spaces in a cultural and political sense, with scientists from Norden punching far above their weight in terms of population, geographical size or economic activity. This volume presents an image of Norden that stretches far beyond its conventional limits, covering a vast area in the North Atlantic and the Arctic Sea, as well as parts of Antarctica. Rich in resources, scarce in population, but critically important in global and regional geopolitics, these spaces were contested by major powers such as Russia, the United States, Canada and, in the Antarctic, Argentina, Australia, South Africa and others. The empirical focus on Danish, Norwegian and Swedish influence in the polar regions during the twentieth century embraces a diverse array of themes, from the role of science in policy and diplomacy to the tensions between nationalism and internationalism, with clear relevance to the important role science plays in contemporary discussions about Nordic engagement with the polar regions.


A Baker & Taylor Academic Essentials Title in Human Geography 'Science, geopolitics and culture in the polar region is an excellent reflection of the wide range of Nordic-Arctic interconnectedness and an enriching point of access for its many facets.' Polar Record ’…the book is extremely detailed… the detailed descriptions of the diverse case studies highlight the close and changing interplay of science and politics and the ways in which research agendas and priorities reflect political situations and concerns and vice versa.’ Barents Studies 'The book is a rich and illuminating collection of contributions to the history of science and politics in the Arctic and, most of all, Nordic scientific cooperation with Russian and other partners from the region.' Journal of Historical Geography

About the Author

Sverker Sörlin is Professor in the Division of History of Science and Technology at the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm and Senior Researcher at Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Sweden. In 2004 his two-volume history of European science and ideas from 1492-1918 won the August [Strinberg] Prize for the best non-fiction book of the year. His most recent book in English is Nature's End: History and the Environment (with Paul Warde) (2009).

About the Series

The Nordic Experience

The Nordic Experience
(For the back flap): THE NORDIC EXPERIENCE Series Editor: Jonas Harvard, Södertörn University, Stockholm. What makes a region unique? Be it Vikings or the welfare state, gender equality or flat-pack furniture, for a long time the Nordic region has had a distinctive profile, visible to inhabitants and outsiders alike. As political alliances and cultural connections between nations and continents continuously change, so do the meanings of labels such as ’the North’, ’the Nordic region’ or Norden. Books in 'The Nordic Experience' series study the Nordic region as a geopolitical concept connected to a distinguishable set of ideas, practices and experiences. In-depth and comparative analyses of history, politics, culture, science and media, explore both the struggle between conflicting interests and the search for common characteristics. The result is a series of refreshing insights into how a region can become something beyond physical place - a notion distributed in space.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century