Northern Studies

The Northern Studies Research Group (NSRG) at the UiT The Arctic University of Norway (AUN) is interdisciplinary in most of its endeavors and in terms of the competencies of its members. It aims to produce new insights on the societal, economic and environmental challenges and opportunities in different regions of the Circumarctic.

Group coordinator
Urban Wråkberg, Dep. of Tourism and Northern Studies (IRNS), Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education, UiT The Arctic University of Norway (AUN) in Kirkenes

Subarctic Europe and the Circumarctic, including Russia, forms the extensive geographical scope of interest of the Northern Studies Research Group (NSRG). We often apply comparative perspectives in our interdisciplinary research, as well as in our research-based teaching. Core region and home to the NSRG research group is the County of Finnmark, Northern Norway and its borderlands with Finland, Sweden and Russia.

Interdisciplinary course partnerships
We assume regional North Norwegian responsibility through public outreach and by internationally open teaching. NSRG members have developed University of the Arctic Courses and created new such geared to emerging circumarctic issues of major consern. What we do in teaching is related to the NSRG group's research which explores geopolitical, economic, indigenous, environmental and cultural issues of the circumpolar north by placing such in a circumpolar and global geo-economic and cultural context. 

BANHER 2023-2026 will enable us to engage in on-line teaching events in future courses in partnership with teachers at the Trent University School of Environment, Canada, with University of Lapland, Rovaniemi and with partners at University of Alaska at Anchorage. 

The research group in northern studies

  • The members of the group hold research competence in social sciences, technology, environmental history, geopolitics, indigenous study and social anthropology. 
  • The research group aims to create new knowledge on the County of Finnmark, Norway not least by relating it to a global context. It has proved relevant to local societal sustainability, environmental security, indigenous issues, northern tourism and industry. The University-Society-Bussiness nexus often figures in our student-based local R & D. 
  • Resilience in High North cross-border interaction is focussed in courses and projects we run.  We specialize in peace study, on raw material and energy security, entrepreneurship and Russian studies

Research methods
Comparative perspectives are instrumental in revealing differences and similarities between geographical areas. The northern researcher’s proficiency in languages is important but so is the ability to analyze subject matters of widely different academic fields. For example, multifactorial synthesis is the only way to be successful in business forecasting.

The meaning of cultural and industrial heritage has figured in NSRG projects, collective memory has been shown to function as a practical cognitive resource for local decision-making.

We have used unconventional methods in studying tourism by analysing trip-styles and choice-of-location triggers by participant observation and holistic interview techniques. 

We do discourse analysis, detect path-dependencies, do site visits, and use photography at site visits and communication results.

News & Events

BANHER executive group

● In June 2023 the Northern Studies Group was happy to recieve note from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA) that the review panel for its ARCTIC 2030 funding system had recommended it to support our application. We were granted the full amount asked for of over 6.5 miljon NOK. UiT AUN consider to counter-fund this limited by one year to a period 2023-25 by a coresponding value in kind. Our initiative is called ARCTIC 2030-BANHER and is a Norwegian-Finnish-Swedish-Canadian and US based program. It started operations in the fall of 2023. For further details see the BANHER section of this website.

● In June 2024, in close cooperation with its Finnish partner the University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, the ARCTIC 2030-BANHER program will run a travelling summer-school called the Calotte Academy. The Calotte Academy is an annual interactive undertaking that entails seminars for advanced students and senior faculty, townhall meetings with local and regional leaders and professionals. It undertakes study-visits and interviews along a route in the Euroarctic that differs for each time it is held. Advanced students and university scholars can apply to participate until the deadline on April 15 2024. The first call with further information is provided here.