Over the last decade, a rapidly increasing number of public and private actors are seeking a place in the exclusive ‘space club’. Private bodies and states - including the Nordic countries - are developing launch sites in the Arctic region. The development of the space sector has long been of marginal interest to countries in the High North, so the increasing political focus and economic inputs into the sector mark a strategic shift, bringing potential ramifications for governance, sustainable development, and security. There is currently little understanding of how the development of space infrastructures in the High North already affects security and environmental politics and practices, and what the consequences are for the Arctic region. The NordSpace project will address this knowledge gap. Researchers will systematically study the intersection of space activities with environmental and security politics in three lesser-known space nations in the Nordic region: Norway, Sweden, and Iceland. The interdisciplinary team will combine qualitative network analysis, ethnographic and visual methods, and discourse analysis to provide nuanced empirical knowledge on the economic activities, governance frameworks, and ambitions and visions of the three countries in the context of their attempts to gain global recognition as spacefaring nations. The impacts of these activities on geopolitical constellations and on local environments in the Arctic region will be analysed.
Over the last decade, outer space has become an opportunity for economic accumulation for public and private actors. While there is increasing interest in the social sciences in understanding how global space ambitions and commercial interests shape local environments or environmental geopolitics, there is however, little understanding how the development of space infrastructures in the High North affect security and environmental politics and practices today, and with what kind of consequences for the Arctic region. Located at the intersection of International Relations (IR), Science and Technology Studies (STS) and Social Anthropology, NordSpace aims to understand the ramifications of space infrastructures in the High North by systematically studying the intersection of space activities with environmental and security politics in the case of three lesser-known space nations in the Nordic region i.e., Norway, Sweden, and Iceland. Bringing together an interdisciplinary team with backgrounds from different social sciences and expertise in various qualitative methods, the project will innovatively combine qualitative network analysis with ethnographic, visual methods, and discourse analysis. The results of the project will advance scientific knowledge on space activities of three Nordic countries and the implications of space infrastructures for the High North to build critical expertise across Nordic countries on a new and rapidly developing phenomenon.
UTENRIKS-Internasjonale forhold - utenriks- og sikkerhetspolitikk og norske interesser