Staff – University of Copenhagen

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Valeria Guerrieri

Valeria Guerrieri

PhD Student

** I am currently a Visiting PhD Fellow at the Petrocultures Research Group, University of Alberta. I will be back in Copenhagen in April 2017. **
For more information, check: 

Short Bio

BA and MA in International Relations 
Areas of specialty: Canadian Arctic; indigenous rights; energy politics; extractive industries; pipelines

PhD Project

I am currently pursuing a PhD project at the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies.

My research project – The Productive Power of the Pipeline - aims at analyzing the impact that extractive industries have had on the negotiation of places, identities and (power) relations in Northern Canada (and more generally in the Arctic) over the last fifty years. By combining a geographical approach with a governmentality analysis, this projects intends to contribute to the current discussion on the opportunities, risks and responsibilities created by energy development and different extractive activities.

The Arctic environment that has been a central element of nation-building, is the same environment now crossed by pipelines which, as I suggest, redesign regions (or entire nations) and trigger phenomenon of cultural translation  where communities find themselves relocated in new cultural and geopolitical settings and where something is gained and something is inevitably lost.
This particular way of seeing pipelines is part of what, in the project, is called a horizontal perspectiveon the dynamics of energy development that is used in opposition to a more traditional vertical one, which tends to study pipelines and prospective pipeline regions as a fixed outcome, rather than as a process of constant becoming. To adopt a horizontal perspective on energy development means then here to focus on the complex and often problematic interactions and negotiations taking place among the different actors of Arctic energy development, i.e. national governments, indigenous peoples, extractive industries and NGOs. 

Within this context, I have chosen Canada as a unique and informative case, as the rise of extractive industries has strengthened indigenous engagement, prompting Native groups to come together and take a position on energy development. 

Therefore, by focusing on the specific case of Mackenzie Gas Project and its advancement from theearly 70s to today, I argue that the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline (MVP), though still an ongoingprocess, has created a transformative space where, also thanks to the essential input provided by the Berger Inquiry, a massive renegotiation has occurred.

The project pursues an analysis of the unique and extensive archive (reports, speeches, hearingtranscripts, newspaper articles, protest papers, legislation, etc.) related to the Mackenzie Gas Project and to extractive industries  in general which is available at the Polar Library in Copenhagen.

My aim with this research is to contribute to the scientific field on extractive industries in the Arctic, currently developing with great speed in many scholarly environments, including Copenhagen University.

However, since very few scholars approach the stages and predicaments of this development from the perspective of transformative space, I intend to do so by focusing on how places, interests, cultures and peoples are involved, as in a process of constant becoming, instead of as something to be taken for granted.

Keywords: pipelines; energy development; Arctic; governmentality; Inuit; Canada; geography; place-making; hope; temporal politics



- Arctic as a Region (Spring 2016), Eskimology and Arctic Studies, KU

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