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Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

The Polar Journal

For a Special Issue on

Indigenous Self-Governance in the Arctic

Manuscript deadline
01 October 2023

Cover image - The Polar Journal

Special Issue Editor(s)

Henrik Larsen, University of Copenhagen
[email protected]

Uffe Jakobsen, University of Copenhagen
[email protected]

Emma J. Stewart, Lincoln University
[email protected]

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Indigenous Self-Governance in the Arctic

The theme of this special issue is indigenous self-governance in Arctic states. A common characteristic of the states that are partly located in the Arctic – Canada, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, USA – is that they all have indigenous populations, and all have some form of self-government. There has been relatively little research on the similarities and differences between the sub-state autonomy structures within the Arctic states from a political science perspective. This is somewhat surprising given the growing interest in the Arctic region during the last 10 years, where some of these autonomous units play an increasingly important role. This special issue asks how different are these self-governing units? How did they evolve into their current form? Do they have a distinct Arctic indigenous character?

Indigenous populations in the Arctic have different kinds and degrees of political autonomy within the states of which they are part. Some - Greenland and the Faroe Islands (non-indigenous population) - have significant political autonomy and could in principle opt for independence within a relatively short time. Others - Indigenous groups in Alaska, Canada and Russia - have a degree of autonomy within the structures of the constitution, which do not always fit neatly within these same constitutional structures. Others yet again – Sámi in Finland, Norway and Sweden – have political autonomy through non-territorial based representation, which go beyond the Arctic areas.

A broad framework for analyzing and comparing the different and complex paths taken by the autonomous units is historical institutionalism. This conceptual framework is well suited for addressing questions about the state of affairs, change and continuity and drivers of change. Central works here are Giovanni and Kelemen (2007); Pierson (2000); Pollack (2019); Mahoney and Thelen, (2010); Steinmo et al. (1992).

The editors invite papers within this field, including both studies of individual self-governing units and comparative studies. We are seeking papers from across the Arctic, but we are particularly keen to receive papers on Alaska, Russia, Sweden and Finland. While the papers should preferably draw on a historical institutionalist framework in broad terms, the authors are welcome to draw on other theoretical/conceptual approaches as well.

Submission Instructions

Expected publication date in The Polar Journal: June 2024 (Issue 24, number 1)

Instructions for Authors

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