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Stories, also called narratives, are accounts of everyday events, grand stories of the beginnings of life, and sense-making explanations about the world. Contemporary narratives in media, politics and science inform us about the Arctic, its peoples and nature as well as the political developments and transformations in the region. In this chapter, I will discuss how narratives of International Relations (IR) imagine the Arctic, especially those which “exceptionalize” and “globalize” the region. A narrative approach offers a critical tool to discuss the power of IR narratives to imagine the Arctic in certain ways, for example, as a regional, governable entity, a site of global economic circulation and a particular object of global environmental governance. I claim that Eurocentric, Western IR narratives construct the region as a paradoxical, orientalist “Other”. Contrapuntal reading of Arctic IR narratives, inspired by the thoughts of Edward Said, encourages us to re-imagine the “worldliness” of Arctic IR narratives in more diverse ways, beyond “Arctic Orientalism”.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCritical Studies of the Arctic
Subtitle of host publicationUnravelling the North
EditorsMarjo Lindroth, Heidi Sinevaara-Niskanen, Monica Tennberg
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-11120-4
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-11119-8
Publication statusPublished - 2022
MoEC publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book


  • arctic

Field of science

  • International political science


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