This paper uses the 2014–2015 plunge in oil prices as a linchpin for understanding how petroleum ... Read more
This paper uses the 2014–2015 plunge in oil prices as a linchpin for understanding how petroleum development represents a challenge to Arctic societies. Analysis of media discourses, grey literature and fieldwork material from 2013 to 2017 compared with previous work in the region shows that the 75% price decrease in oil price brings into stark relief the perceived level of ontological security that future petroleum economies in Northern Norway, Alaska and Greenland provides. The findings reveal that while the communities in each location find themselves along different timelines of the petroleum economy, there are transferable insights that can benefit other communities influenced by (the potential for) petroleum development in both the Arctic and beyond, in particular concerning the way in which specific ideas about oil and oils future features as contributing to or diminishes ontological security perceptions on the ground. The goal of this paper is to deepen the comparative analysis of research on tensions in Arctic communities as petroleum is perceived as either strengthening or threatening future ontological security in the region. The discussion considers the consequences of path de- pendent petroleum economies, and how perceptions on alternative futures can fruitfully be introduced into petroleum-dominated narratives about viable Arctic futures.
This article argues that cartography and topographical description played a significant role in t ... Read more
This article argues that cartography and topographical description played a significant role in the way in which areas of the Scottish Northern Isles were represented and visualised, as a regional space, after the political union of England and Scotland in 1707, and, alongside that, the development of the concept of a British state and nation. Not only did topographical literature become more professionalised and commercially-oriented during the eighteenth century, but the visual representations of territories created in maps and charts became part of a network of cultural practices that both linked and divided historical regions across the British Isles. On the one hand, map-making re-negotiated national spaces in order to contribute to the formation the United Kingdom or Great Britain (itself a complex national entity) and, on the other hand, it provided an opportunity to re-create a sense of place or Northern regional identity, continuing to be part of an intercultural Northern European maritime region linked by the North Sea. As can be seen in the following case studies from the Shetland Islands and Western Norway, at ‘image level’, the change in perceptions about a region's identity (or one's own, within that region), often follows a long process, ‘since shifts in the attitudes of mental mapping tend to slowly follow changes in political and social conditions, mixing with philosophical and aesthetic conventions of the time’.