chapter  10
32 Pages

e Arctic Gaze: Redening the Boundaries of the Nordic Region

With the end of the Cold War, the map of Europe expanded and new political regions were formed. e codication of the European Union and the political space it came to occupy included a new opportunity for political relations with Russia and a European, rather than Nordic, notion of the social welfare state. More recently, as Greenland edges closer towards full sovereignty, its role in Europe and the world is also shiing from a Cold War military zone to a possible future resource hub. Collectively, these changes have led many scholars and politicians to question the future meaning and role of Nordic cooperation within the wider context of Europe. However, this moment of self-reection has also provided an occasion to revisit the varying intellectual histories that have continuously constituted the Nordic region over time. Polar explorations, nation-state building narratives, ideas of Nordic cooperation and institution building, and more recently the intellectual histories of this region’s indigenous peoples have been recurring themes throughout Nordic history. How these histories have been employed and understood, however, has depended on the larger backdrop of changing global politics and the varying state and non-state polities that have set out to write them.