Lessons from the Arctic past: The resource cycle, hydro energy development, and the human geography of Jokkmokk, Sweden

Dean B. Carson, Doris A. Carson, Gabriella Nordin, Peter Sköld

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Recent research has identified a series of human geography impacts of natural resource developments in sparsely populated areas like the Arctic. These impacts can be mapped to the 'resource cycle', and arise from periods of population growth and decline, changing patterns of human migration and mobility, changing patterns of settlement, and changes in the demographic 'balance' between males and females, young and old, Indigenous and non-Indigenous. This paper examines the applicability of the resource cycle model in the case of hydro energy development in the Jokkmokk municipality of Sweden. Using quantitative demographic data, media reports, and contemporary accounts of hydro development, the paper describes the human geography of Jokkmokk since the late 19th century. The paper concludes that changes in human geography in Jokkmokk mirror what has been observed in regions dependent on non-renewable resources, although it is difficult to distinguish many impacts from those that might have occurred under alternative development scenarios. The paper identifies a 'settlement cycle' with phases of integrated and separated habitation for populations specifically associated with the development. Settlement dynamics, and the impacts of hydro on Sami geography are areas for further research.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)13-24
    Number of pages12
    JournalEnergy research and social science
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016


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