Nordia Geographical Publications (NGP) is a non-profit peer-review scientific journal published by the Geographical Society of Northern Finland and the Geography Research Unit at the University of Oulu.
Rethinking Arctic tourism: tourists’ practices and perceptions of the Arctic in RovaniemiVol 49 No 4 (2020)
What is ‘Arctic’ in ‘Arctic tourism’? What makes the distinction between ‘Arctic tourism’ and ‘tourism in the Arctic’? Can we set and designate boundaries for Arctic tourism and can we find a consensus for its definition? This study explores these questions by investigating tourists’ practices and representations of the Arctic at the moment of crossing the Arctic Circle in Rovaniemi.
In his thesis, Varnajot offers a reconceptualization of Arctic tourism, not solely based on a spatial perspective, but also grounded in tourists’ experiences. It is argued that for future smart and more responsible practices, Arctic tourism, both as a segment and as a concept, should be understood as fluid in time and space, adapting to the dynamic nature of the Arctic and its myriad of cultures, rather than being locked in stereotypical images, products and activities.
Integrating accessibility analysis in ecosystem service and disservice mappingVol 49 No 3 (2020)
Ecosystems support human existence and well-being through supply of services. Alongside the benefits, ecosystems also produce disservices that are perceived as unwanted, unpleasant or economically harmful. In both cases, most services and disservices are commonly produced and consumed (or encountered) in areas geographically distant from each other, which is a challenge in the assessment and mapping of ecosystem (dis)services.
This thesis meet this challenge by testing the applicability of spatial accessibility analysis to assess the availability and access to ecosystem services, but also the suitability of the used methods for measuring the negative effects that nature can cause for people. The results showed that accessibility approach has a high potential to offer an efficient method to assess the transfer of ecosystem services and disservices through active transport of goods or traveling of people. This method also responded to the need to develop a practical tool for both ecosystem service and disservice research and decision-making.
Political geographies of the ‘changing’ Arctic: perspectives on the interface between politics and the region as a processVol 49 No 2 (2020)
During the past few decades, the Arctic has become increasingly understood as a changing region. This change incorporates issue areas from climatic and environmental change to economic, political and social change. While much of the public and academic discussion on the ‘changing’ Arctic has taken the Arctic for granted as a regional framework in which the processes of change occur, there is a need to understand how this knowledge on change itself has been constructed, and how it has been attached to the Arctic as a distinct region. By building on this background, this thesis seeks to analyze how the understanding of the Arctic as a changing region contributes to different political and spatial dynamics, which are approached empirically by a focus on the Arctic strategies and policies of Finland, France, Japan and Alaska.
A key argument of the thesis is that we cannot understand the current political discussion on the Arctic without understanding the regionalization process in which the Arctic has been constructed as a distinct region in relation to specific criteria. The results show that different ideas regarding what the Arctic region is have become key issues driving policy-making processes and political debate. Further, the results show that these policies and political debates are themselves key mediums through which the region and regional knowledge are produced, contested and transformed. This indicates that regional knowledge itself is politically meaningful, and scientists, too, should be attentive of the political implications that the knowledge we produce may have.
NGP Yearbook 2019 Energy and Nomos – Spatial (Dis)Order and (Post)Fossil TimesVol 48 No 6 (2019)
1 Heikki Sirviö Introduction to Energy and Nomos theme issue - Energetic underpinnings of the legal-political order and its transformation
7 Simo Sarkki Contested emergency: Five gaming strategies between environmental and economic science-policy-society coalitions
31 Teemu Suorsa Energy, Experience, and Educational Psychology: Changing practices in and beyond Fossil Capitalism
47 Kyle Conway Chronotopes of Petromodernity: Oil and Mobile Privatization in the 1950s
63 Giovanni Frigo Post-fossil Nomoi of Energy
75 Katariina Ala-Rämi, Kyllikki Taipale-Erävala & Mirja Väänänen Structural change as an opportunity for a post-mining region: The case of Pyhäjärvi, Finland
Statistical modelling of circumpolar permafrost: thermal and geomorphic sensitivities to climate change and societal implicationsVol 49 No 1 (2020)
Perennially frozen ground, permafrost, governs complex geo- and ecosystems in the Arctic. Millions of people reside on the frozen ground that has historically supported the integrity of their cities and transportation infrastructure. Permafrost, however, is not permanent but sensitive to the ongoing climate change. Recently, rapid warming and thawing of permafrost have been observed globally. This is prone to incur continued, increasingly crucial implications for the natural and human systems in the Arctic.
This thesis examines the contemporary characteristics of the Northern Hemisphere permafrost and assesses its sensitivities to 21st-century climate change. The results show that near-surface permafrost and associated landforms may be lost over extensive areas, and that permafrost thaw-related ground instabilities put a large amount of Arctic infrastructure at risk.
Geography meets ecology: developing proxies to understand variations of stream biodiversityVol 48 No 5 (2019)
Biodiversity patterns in streams have been shown to be structured by direct physical properties of the local habitat and by proxy features on the catchment and regional scales, but one problem has been related to moderate explanatory power using such traditional environmental variables. This study investigates biodiversity patterns in northern streams by introducing the use of geographical proxy variables of environmental features (i.e. geodiversity) and dispersal (i.e. different geographical distances).
According to the results, traditional environmental variables contributed most to the variation in stream biodiversity. However, geographical proxies were useful in understanding biodiversity-environment relationships. If further developed, similar proxy variables to those presented in this thesis could offer complementary insights to help explain the structuring of biodiversity patterns in streams. In addition, conservation efforts of stream environments may also benefit from the identified cost-efficient proxy variables helping to understand the nuances in biodiversity variation.
Limits of localism: Institutional perspectives on communicativeness, neoliberalization and sustainability in Finnish spatial planningVol 48 No 4 (2019)
Municipalities play an increasingly important role in spatial planning in Finland. During the last decades, planning powers have been transferred to the local level while deconstructing the mechanisms of top-down steering. Local communities and stakeholders are seen to counterbalance the circumscribed bureaucratic control of land use.
In his thesis, Hytönen analyzes the transformation of Finnish spatial planning with a focus on the relationship between public steering and market actors. He describes how expert-driven welfarist planning is evolving to suit the needs of business facilitation and the competitiveness of the municipalities, in a flexible juridical framework. Hytönen recommends the safeguarding of public steering capacities in order to better cope with the fundamental environmental and societal challenges of spatial planning.
Towards a poststructural political economy of tourism: A critical sustainability perspective on destination development in the Finnish NorthVol 48 No 3 (2019)
To increase sustainability in tourism destinations, tourism research has highlighted the need for collective economic agency in destination localities. To date, research has tended to draw on multiple, often contradicting, theoretical perspectives in an attempt to clarify how collective agency in tourism destinations should be best organized in order to foster social justice and ecological sustainability.
In her thesis, Kulusjärvi introduces a poststructural political economy approach for the study of economic agency and sustainability transformation in the Finnish North. The less growth-focused economic thinking and value-driven collective actions are brought to light as valuable forms of economic practice, also with respect to overall destination development. It is argued that this unconventional view on economic path creation is to be encouraged as it is better in line with climate change mitigation needs.
Culture, Institutions and Power: Institutionalisation of cross-border co-operation as a municipal development strategy in Northern FinlandVol 48 No 2 (2019)
In order to understand the development prospects of border areas and the preconditions of transnational regionalisation, municipal planning of border areas needs to be approached not only from the perspective of EU-driven cross-border co-operation and building of “transnational” scale, but more comprehensively. Accordingly, the present research on the Finnish-Swedish border area, which is an internal border area of the EU, takes a more historically and contextually sensitive institutional approach in this regard.
The thesis investigates the structural and discursive dynamics related to the institutionalisation of cross-border co-operation as a development strategy in the context of municipal planning. This enables not only identification of the conflicts and intersections between state-, EU- and local/regional-level development interests and institutional structures, but also provides room for recognising the diversity of the existing interests, strategies and motivations of local and regional actors and different interest groups involved in these institutionalisation processes.
Multi-scale relationship between geodiversity and biodiversity across high-latitude environments: implications for nature conservationVol 48 No 1 (2019)
The capability of present conservation actions to protect and sustain biodiversity in the face of global change is under debate. One solution could be Conserving Nature´s Stage framework which states that geodiversity (e.g. data on geological, geomorphological and hydrological richness) could be used as a coarse filter strategy for conserving biodiversity. This study investigates the potential of the framework by examining the relationship between biodiversity and geodiversity at high-latitude environments.
The results of this thesis highlighted the overall positive relationships between geo- and biodiversity at both landscape and local scales. Geodiversity added explanatory power for biodiversity models and accounted uniquely for richness patterns for both common and threatened species of multiple taxa. This reinforces recent arguments that Conserving Nature´s Stage is an important and valid principle in conservation.
NGP Yearbook 2018 Affirmative Political EcologyVol 47 No 5 (2018)
A spatial perspective of visitor experiences in national parks – Investigating the potential of Public Participation GIS methods in outdoor recreation planningVol 47 No 4 (2018)
Visitor use of national parks must be efficiently planned to cope with increasing and diversifying use of these areas. Academics worldwide have proposed that the use of Public Participation Geographic Information Systems (PPGIS) could improve national park management. This study further investigates the potential of PPGIS methods in the context of planning for outdoor recreation in national parks, and does so by incorporating views of practitioners working in Finnish national park management.
The study increases the understanding of factors that influence visitor experiences, and reveals how PPGIS methods could serve visitor planning practices and frameworks. Moreover, the study advances understandings of challenges and opportunities related to implementing PPGIS methods into outdoor recreation planning.
Large-scale patterns of biodiversity in northern streams: insights from species, traits and phylogenyVol 47 No 3 (2018)
The variation in species-based information has been the most commonly used approach to quantify how biodiversity varies through space and time, omitting the different evolutionary histories of each species and the fact that communities are constituted of species with different ecological roles. Stream biodiversity patterns have been demonstrated to be related to local-, catchment-, and regional-scale variables, but it is still an open question how these different sets of variables affect different facets of biodiversity in streams ecosystems (i.e., traits and phylogeny). In this thesis, I investigated large-scale biodiversity patterns across northern streams by assessing the influence of different sets of variables (ranging from local habitat to large-scale geographical) underlying these patterns and through the investigation of different facets of biodiversity (i.e., species, traits and phylogenies).
Political geographies of health care: Governmentality of population health in the constitution and transformation of state spatialityVol 47 No 2 (2018)
Population health has been inseparable from the spatial constitution of the modern capitalist state since the 19th century and particularly after World War II. Perceived as a wide-ranging political problematic beyond the traditional scope of medical systems, population health has become one of the most significant objects of political power and governmental interventions.
The research offers new perspectives to the literature on state spatial transformation by conceptualising and investigating political geographies of health care. The study concludes that health care is an important organising element of the relationship between state power, state space and population and thus plays a crucial role in the historically contingent constitution and transformation of state spatiality.
Geopolitics of Cross-Border Cooperation at the EU's External Borders: Discourses of de-and re-bordering, territorial perceptions and actor relations within the Finnish-Russian ENI cooperation networkVol 47 No 1 (2018)
The study of borders has confronted us with a variety of new challenges. The current global political environment is characterised by re-bordering dynamics that remind us of the modern form of state territorial sovereignty. The EU attempts to confront conflicts and political challenges in its neighbourhood by establishing a cross-border strategy based on integrated border management and cross-border cooperation activities at its external borders.
By re-visiting the role of territory in the EU’s cross-border cooperation network, Katharina examines how the cooperation actor’s perception of ‘stable’ borders securitises cross-border cooperation. The study concludes that sub-national actors have developed strategies to address and overcome the territorialities of EU funded Finnish-Russian cross-border cooperation by building trustful relations that are crucial in the current diplomatic climate between the EU and Russia.
NGP Yearbook 2017 Everyday security and inequality in internationalizing FinlandVol 46 No 3
This year’s Yearbook is focusing on the theme of everyday security and inequality, the topic that has become increasingly relevant question in internationalizing Finland. The three papers of this Yearbook are discussing the problematic of security and inequality through different material and virtual sites. The key interest is how everyday security and insecurity are produced and lived out and how ordinary people experience societal circumstances and changes in their own livelihoods.
The article from Eva Kaján studies the migration-related discourses of ‘hate speech’ in the Finnish speaking dark net. Sara Haapanen’s article shows how social inequality becomes visible in the breadline in Helsinki and how it is experienced by the people in need. The discussion paper from Eeva-Kaisa Prokkola, Vilhelmiina Vainikka and Eva Kaján reports the findings of a survey conducted in Lappeenranta and Tornio, in Finland. The survey measured how people perceive their hometown from the perspective of security and inequality and what are their attitude towards migration-related demonstrations. The papers point out how the production of securities and insecurities are in many ways geographical and contextual in nature. The research has been supported by Multilayered Border of Global Security (GLASE) consortium, funded by the Strategic Research Council at the Academy of Finland (#303527).
Botswana tourism operators’ and policy makers’ perceptions and responses to the tourism-climate change nexus: vulnerabilities and adaptations to climate change in Maun and Tshabong areasVol 46 No 2 (2017)
Climate is seen as one of the most important resources of a tourist destination and recently there has been increasing interest in the impacts of climate change on tourism. This study analyses the possible impacts of climate change on Botswana’s tourism industry as perceived by operators and policy makers with a view to identifying adaptation needs. Two ecologically distinct areas of Tshabong (Kgalagadi desert) and Maun (Okavango Delta wetlands) in Botswana were targeted as case studies. The results indicate that the tourism operators in both areas are not proactive in institutionalising adaptations against the potential impacts of climate change because they saw the consequences affecting their operations only in the future while policy makers decried limited information and uncertainty as constraints to appropriate responses to climate change. The study concludes that appropriate adaptation strategies need to be devised despite uncertainties and inadequate knowledge on the subject.
Life's work in the city without ground: Cross-border family politics between Shenzhen and Hong KongVol 46 No 1 (2017)
How do we evaluate our life’s work, the reflexive understanding of our role in the reproduction of society, when we are certain our children's lives will be different from ours? How is space produced between Hong Kong and Shenzhen, two metropolises constituted of air-conditioned passageways, concourses and tunnels that aim to disorientate the traveller? Bringing the family back into the study of borders and global inequality, Jonathan traces the emotional and familial nature of links across distance and difference to produce a narrative of the recent history of the Hong Kong-Shenzhen border. He shows that if we take the time to listen to those who love across borders, we can find hidden possibilities embedded in seemingly impossible situations.
Kuvista mielikuviksi: Valokuvat Suomi-brändin vetovoimatekijöinäVol 45 No 1 (2016)