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Ethno-Political Leadership among the Russian Sámi
Indra Overland and Mikkel Berg-Nordlie
162 pages, 11 figs & tables, bibliog., index
ISBN 978-0-85745-667-0 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (September 2012)
ISBN 978-1-78238-919-4 $27.95/£22.95 Pb Published (April 2015)
eISBN 978-0-85745-668-7 eBook
“[These] excellent chapters detail the emergence of cross-border ties between Russia's Sámi communities and Nordic Sámi, and assess their contributions to cultural renewal . . . The socioeconomic and cultural portrait [drawn] will likely seem all too familiar to scholars of other Arctic and subarctic indigenous populations in northern Eurasia, but some of the information is unique to Russia's Sámi, making this an indispensable contribution to the documentation of northern peoples. Essential.” · Choice
“The Sámi political movement, although mentioned in many works, has been a central topic in very few publications. This makes Overland’s and Berg-Nordlie’s monograph a long-awaited study . . . Bridging Divides, with its wide representation of diverse and often conflicting local opinions and societal attitudes toward the Sámi political movement, that cross ethnic borders and limitations, is emblematic of the establishment of ‘multivocality’ and democratization gaining ground.” · Acta Borealia
“The work offers an important case study . . . of an indigenous revitalization movement and thereby allows for comparison with similar developments not only among the officially recognized forty ‘Indigenous small-numbered peoples of the North, Siberia, and the Far East of the Russian Federation’ but also with other indigenous peoples in industrialized countries . . . It is a valuable contribution to the literature on language loss and bilingualism and the phenomenon of gender shift frequently discussed in recent anthropological literature about the Russian North.” · Stephan Dudeck, Arctic Centre, University of Lapland
“The authors give the reader a close and sophisticated analysis of the almost impossible project of restoring a cultural tradition, a lost language, and way of life [while] balancing precariously under harsh and marginal ecological and economic conditions . . . [It is] well written, well organized as a text, and well documented.” · Jens-Ivar Nergaard, University of Tromsø
The Sámi are a Northern indigenous people whose land, Sápmi, covers territory in Finland, Norway, Russia, and Sweden. For the Nordic Sámi, the last decades of the twentieth century saw their indigenous rights partially recognized, a cultural and linguistic revival, and the establishment of Sámi parliaments. The Russian Sámi, however, did not have the same opportunities and were isolated behind the closed border until the dissolution of the Soviet Union. This book examines the following two decades and the Russian Sámi’s attempt to achieve a linguistic revival, to mend the Cold War scars, and to establish their own independent ethno-political organizations.
Indra Overland is Head of the Department of Russian and Eurasian Studies at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge and has previously worked for the University of Tromsø, the Norwegian Refugee Council, and the Nordic Research Board. His recent publications include Caspian Energy Politics (co-edited, 2009) and Russian Renewable Energy (co-authored, 2009).
Mikkel Berg-Nordlie is a Researcher at the Department of International Studies and Migration of the Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research and is completing a Ph.D. at the University of Tromsø-Arctic University of Norway on Russian Sámi politics and border-transcending Sámi politics. His research is focused on indigenous and ethnic minority-related issues, including, but not limited to, Russia and the Nordic Countries.
Subject: Development Studies
Area: Central/Eastern Europe Asia-Pacific
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Who are the Russian Sámi?
Chapter 3. Lost Land, Broken Culture
Chapter 4. Language Revival
Chapter 5. Educational Re-orientation
Chapter 6. Political Representation
Chapter 7. Conclusions
Appendix I: Glossary and Abbreviations
Appendix II: Sámi population estimates
Appendix III: Nuclear bomb testing on the Kola Peninsula
Appendix IV: Inter-ethnic relations
Appendix V: Language
Appendix VI: Three Intertwined Social Problems
Appendix VII: The complexity of ethnic identity
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