Andrian Vlakhov & Hanna Lempinen

This year’s edition of the Calotte Academy, an established travelling symposium focusing on the social and political issues in the Arctic, took place in three Northern European countries: Finland, Russia and Norway. The Academy owes its name to the Northern Calotte, i.e. the northernmost part of both Fennoscandia and Russia, and it has a long and glorious history. Having started in the late 1980s when the region was still divided by many borders, both political and symbolic, the “nomadic” summer school has witnessed many changes since then: the empires fell, the borders opened, the people changed. The school itself has changed, too, but it has preserved the main idea of the original Academy: the person-to-person interaction between local experts and decision-makers and established and early career researchers whose scientific interests lie in the Arctic, regardless of any borders. This year, given the complex political situation and tensions between Russia and the West, preserving this idea was crucial, even the most important since the end of the Cold.

The 2015 Academy had its focus on the theme “Resources and Security in the Globalized Arctic”. However, this did not limit the scope of participants’ topics to political science only: the presenters had different academic background and areas of focus, including among others anthropology, law, psychology, economics and environmental sciences. Together, the group provided the nexus between different areas of science, the thing many Arctic research planners are seeking now; maybe this is the way how the new Arctic research agenda can begin to be introduced.

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