Extracting the Future in Svalbard

  • Dag Avango
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Science and Technology book series (PSHST)


Minerals are not resources in and of themselves; they are constructed as such through processes involving narratives about the future, produced by actors who wish to realize them. This book chapter analyses how actors within industry successfully constructed the archipelago of Svalbard as a place for resource extraction at the turn of 1900. They made use of favorable historical contexts and enrolled investors and political supporters by future visions about market opportunities and serving national interests. In 2018, most of these mines are abandoned, providing a fruitful point of departure for critically evaluating future visions of the Arctic as an arena for resource extraction and to consider the sustainability of communities built around resource extraction there.


Svalbard National interests Resource extraction 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dag Avango
    • 1
  1. 1.KTH Royal Institute of TechnologyStockholmSweden

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