Staff – University of Copenhagen

Resilience, human agency and climate change adaptation strategies in the Arctic

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In the Arctic, indigenous peoples, researchers and governments are working to develop climate change adaptation strategies due to the rapid changes in sea ice extent, weather conditions and in the ecosystem as such. These strategies are often based on specific perceptions of vulnerability and work with a number of barriers for resilience. The objective of the article is first to address the position of institutional barriers in the studies and strategies. Second the article analyses the role human agency is ascribed in proposed strategies and projects in Nunavut and Greenland. With a focus on institutions and human agency the question is not only ‘how do people manage to adapt?' but moreover ‘what constrains people in pursuing a given adaptation strategy?' The article introduces the concept of double agency which stresses two different aspects of human agency that can be used to understand the political processes taking place in the Arctic: one aspect emphasises stakeholder participation and integration while the other aspect emphasises rightholder possibilites and self-determination. The focus is thus on how adaptation strategies relate to political and legal processes at different scales and the implications for resilience.

Original languageEnglish
Book seriesKongelige Danske Videnskabernes Selskab. Historisk-Filosofiske Meddelelser
Volume106
Pages (from-to)218-244
ISSN0106-0481
Publication statusPublished - 2009

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Humanities - Arctic, Climate, Resilience, Political culture, Greenland, Canada, Inuit

ID: 21661801