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Investigating Reflections on Social Sustainability: The Case of EU-Funded Projects in Remote Northern Communities
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

There has been a general population decline in the European Arctic and northern periphery, with out-migration being one of the main drivers. The population is ageing and less able to contribute to the economic welfare. The EU has implemented a series of projects in the region in an attempt to remedy the out-migration and make the regions attractive for further investments and development. The study investigates how actors within a number of EU-funded projects perceived local social sustainability, in their communities and within their projects. It aims to gain a better understanding of what social sustainability means in northern contexts, and how EU-funded projects could improve social sustainability. Using coding inspired by the Arctic Social Indicators, the study mapped perceptions and reflections through conducting a series of interviews with actors attached to EU projects. The results show that a majority of projects potentially have had a higher impact on social sustainability than the actors reflected upon, such as the impact on cultural wellbeing that comes from improving local slow tourism, focussing on local traditions and heritage. The study also finds that transnational cooperation is perceived to be beneficial for socially sustainable outcomes with benefits including knowledge transfer and business cooperation. Transnational cooperation, however, comes with challenges such as communication issues due to language barriers, and policy difficulties when working across borders. Overall the study concludes that the EU projects are perceived to have positive outcomes on the social sustainability in northern communities. Not only did the actors perceive these EU-funded projects to be important for monetary development, but also in creating invaluable bonds between partners.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 38
Series
Examensarbete vid Institutionen för geovetenskaper, ISSN 1650-6553 ; 2019/44
Keywords [en]
Sustainable Development, Social Sustainability, Northern Communities, Arctic Communities, EU Projects, Transnational Cooperation
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-391036OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-391036DiVA, id: diva2:1343521
Educational program
Master Programme in Sustainable Development
Presentation
2019-05-23, Villavägen 16, Uppsala, 17:42 (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-08-19 Created: 2019-08-16 Last updated: 2019-08-19Bibliographically approved

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Department of Earth Sciences
Earth and Related Environmental SciencesSocial Sciences Interdisciplinary

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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Output format
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