Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 112

112 Arctic Yearbook 2015 paradox, as they threaten the culturally important hunting traditions while on the other hand are perceived as a welcomed change that may help speeding up the process towards increased independence. Perspectives and potentials The climate change paradox exemplifies well how the cultural traditions and the independence discourse sometimes are in conflict with each other, as the prioritisation of one side may have negative consequences to the other. The climate change paradox, thus, mirrors the double perspective of the dominating collective identity narrative, which, however, is used actively to optimise Greenland’s international bargaining position. In this way, both extraordinary whaling rights and special rights in a future global climate agreement have been secured, while the official status of the Greenlandic language has played a significant role in elevating Greenland’s general status in the Nordic Council. The reason for this communicative oscillation between describing Greenlanders as a ‘minority’ or an ‘equal partner’ may be an intentional strategy or a transitory phenomenon mirroring the relatively recent transition from home rule, characterised by hierarchical subordination, to self-government and a position as equal partner (cf. Thisted 2012: 612). This change is both visible in Greenland’s external communication and in the outside world’s perception of Greenland, visible in e.g. EU’s ‘Inuit exception’ and WTO’s subsequent overruling due to its anti-competitive elements (Naalakkersuisut 2013b). This development may be an indication of an incipient change in the outside world’s perception of Greenland’s position, which on the one hand may result in less special treatment in the future, but on the other benefit the process towards increased self-determination. Greenland’s state-like imitation is particularly observable in the communication in the Nordic Council and in relation to the climate summits, where the elected representatives have obtained a higher degree of autonomy by referring to the Act on Self-Government and the anticipated future increased independence. If one broadens the analytical perspective a bit, it becomes visible how this was also the case when Aleqa Hammond on behalf of Greenland decided to boycott the Arctic Council ministerial meeting in Kiruna in 2013 because she was discontent with Greenland’s lower status in comparison with Denmark (Duus 2013). A similar kind of discontent was expressed in the sealing and whaling disputes where wishes for individual representation in WTO and IWC were articulated. Put together, these examples can be described as a postcolonial sovereignty game (cf. Adler-Nissen & Gad 2014: 16), where Greenland sometimes seeks to draw a sharper communicative dichotomy to Denmark, while, in other instances, simply leaving out the Danish Realm of the foreign policy communication concerning an envisioned future with more self-determination. As mentioned earlier in this paper, this will require significant foreign investments in e.g. large-scale mining projects in order to, first of all, render superfluous the bloc grant from Denmark of approximately €500 million annually. Such projects will, however, require assistance from thousands of foreign workers who may, in time, constitute a potential threat to Greenland’s societal security as continuing presence of a major group of for example Chinese workers would challenge the widespread ethno-national perception of Greenlandic culture. Hence the state-building process can have an effect on the nation-building process as the narrative of what is truly Greenlandic will be challenged and possibly changed when the structure of society and composition of population also change. This is based on the logic, as The Power of Collective Identity Narration