Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 322

322 Arctic Yearbook 2015 unique in its particular constellation of identity factors, the concept of Arctic state identity is undoubtedly relevant elsewhere too. While Russian authorities emphasise its long polar history, and the Icelandic draw on its connection to the oceans, there are clearly many ways in which national narratives and identity become intertwined in Arctic policy. However, as a state with much to gain from its Arctic statehood, potential internalisation and reification of current governance will inevitably manifest differently elsewhere than in Norway – not least among those not privy membership therein. Nonetheless, the Norwegian experience – granting a small state a big role in this exclusive region – serves as an illustration of how state identity and governance may at times be intimately interwoven, thereby contributing to understandings of Arctic governance beyond and beneath the material surface of interstate relations. Notes 1. The Norwegian government often favours the term ‘The High North’; in Norwegian ‘nordområdene’, literally ‘the northern areas’. 2. To ensure full confidentiality the respondents are only referred to by alphabetic letter according to the time of their interviews. The interviews were conducted mainly during July 2014, and distributed as: four in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; one in the Ministry of Defence; one in the Ministry of Justice and Public Security; one in the Ministry of Climate and the Environment; one in the Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation; one in the Ministry of Education and Research; and seven Members of Parliament. Note that this is part of a larger, ongoing study on Arctic statehood and political identity in Norway, Iceland, and Canada. 3. All translations from Norwegian are by the author herself, as close to the original as possible. Of course, relying on a snowball strategy and general willingness to participate, the participants’ views are not necessarily generalisable, but rather illustrate how individuals at the state-level perceive their state as being (or not being) ‘Arctic’. References Anderson, B. (1983). Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso. Antonsich, M. (2009). On Territory, the Nation-State and the Crisis of the Hyphen. Progress in Human Geography, 33(6): 789–806. Arbo, P., Iversen, A., Knol, M., Ringholm, T., & Sander, G. (2013). Arctic Futures: Conceptualizations and Images of a Changing Arctic. Polar Geography, 36(3): 163–182. Big Fish in a Small (Arctic) Pond