Norway on a High in the North : a discourse analysis of policy framing

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Norway on a High in the North : a discourse analysis of policy framing


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Title: Norway on a High in the North : a discourse analysis of policy framing
Author: Jensen, Leif Christian
Date: 24-Jan-2013
Type: Doctoral thesis; Doktorgradsavhandling
Abstract: The objective of this thesis is essentially to understand better how the High North initiative has been framed and construed in official and public discourse in Norway. To this end, the dissertation consists of five articles which deal with different aspects of this initiative from thematically different angles, and different sources of data depending on whether public or official discourses are under scrutiny, but from the same theoretical and methodological perspective.An important concern in this thesis has been to explore and reveal the limits that determine which opinions, accounts of reality and future prospects are deemed ‘legitimate’ and possible to entertain. What is ‘selected’ to be included, and what excluded, given prevailing Norwegian conceptions of the High North? What is assumed as given and what is indexed as problematic? The point here is not necessarily what causes divisions and dissension. It might be more relevant to identify what is allowed to stand uncontested, unquestioned and taken as an indisputable premise for the ensuing discussion – and for political decision-making. A key point of departure for this project in particular and discourse analysis more generally is that discourses are involved in determining actual behaviour by narrowing the definition of what counts as acceptable actions and utterances in society at a given point in time. Against this background, discourses can shed light on political practice by defining the scope for action and which options are taken as politically feasible.
Description: Papers 1, 4 and 5 of this thesis are not available in Munin:
1. Leif Christian Jensen & Geir Hønneland: 'Framing the High North : Public Discourses in Norway after 2000', Acta Borealia (2011), vol.28, no.1:37-54. Available at
4. Leif Christian Jensen: 'Seduced and surrounded by security : a post-structuralist take on Norwegian High North securitizing discourses', Cooperation and Conflict (2012), Online before print. Available at
5. Leif Christian Jensen: 'Norwegian petroleum extraction in Arctic waters to save the environment: introducing ‘discourse co-optation’ as a new analytical term', Critical Discourse Studies (2012), vol.9, no.1:29–38. Available at
Publisher: Universitetet i Tromsø; University of Tromsø

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thesis.pdf 1.768Mb PDF View/Open Thesis introduction
paper_2.pdf 210.5Kb PDF View/Open Leif Christian Jensen & Pål Wilter Skedsmo: 'Approaching the North: Norwegian and Russian foreign policy discourses on the European Arctic', Polar Research ( 2010), vol.29, no.3:439-450.
paper_3.pdf 84.71Kb PDF View/Open Leif Christian Jensen: 'Petroleum discourse in the European Arctic : the Norwegian case', Polar Record (2007), vol.43, no.3:247-254.

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