Securing a Contingent Future : how threats, risks and identity matter in the debate over petroleum development in Lofoten, Norway.
During the first decade of the new millennium, decisive steps towards including the Northern province in what has been called ‘the Norwegian petroleum fairytale’ was taken. By 2008, the area outside the regions Lofoten, Vesterålen and Senja was put high on the agenda, and national, regional and local actors sought influence on the matter. Politically, the case was seen as potentially threatening to the Stoltenberg coalition cabinet (consisting of three political parties, two of which were very skeptical to a potential petroleum development in the area), and while lobbyists from the petroleum industry, the environmentalist organizations and local and regional interest groups argued for their case, a governmental process of gathering and assessing existing scientific data for a management plan for the sea areas outside the Northern province was conducted that was to inform the political decision to be taken. Through extensive fieldwork in the Lofoten region, document and media analysis and participation in scientific conferences, local dialogue and information meetings, I have focused on the relation between local and national understandings of risks and threats connected to the potential petroleum development of these areas, and how it can be understood in light of social science debates on risk, security, knowledge production and – ultimately – questions of power and rule. My main focus is to show how both local proponents and opponents to future petroleum production in the sea area outside Lofoten in particular experienced a divide between their concerns and discussions, and those conducted by media, politicians and scientists on the national level, a divide which ultimately influenced their sense of (in)security.
ForlagUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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