Untied resource as a threa/-/t/-d for social fabric(ation)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


This chapter examines the relation of social order and political economy through the concept of resource as the language of becoming. In the political and economic entanglement around the Arctic river of Kemijoki in northernmost Finland, the discourse is tied equally to potential risk and profitability. A major hydro-energy project plan, hatched in the 1970s, is still alive after being disrupted and reshaped to the current moment. It has been dressed either as a major regional development project or as a final act on flood risk management to guarantee a socially sustainable future in the area. This continuous tension leads to a fatalistic view that the discord will eventually stop when the water reservoir is built, even if the odds are against it. What I argue is that the untied potentiality of a resource emerges as a risk for the social order. The state of affairs is abstracted into metaphors, the bow of Heraclitus and the thread of life. They tie down an arrangement of two opposites that give the managed entity an identity while risking its being. This narrow line in between plenty and ruin is where the social sustainability is measured, and biopolitical power materializes as management of social resources.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResources, Social and Cultural Sustainabilities in the Arctic
EditorsMonica Tennberg, Hanna Lempinen, Susanna Pirnes
Place of PublicationAbingdon
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-429-05736-6
ISBN (Print)978-0-367-17544-3
Publication statusPublished - 2020
MoEC publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book

Publication series

Series Routledge Research in Polar Regions

Field of science

  • Political science


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