Professor of Ethnology, Particularly Non-European (Etnologi, särskilt utomeuropeisk), at the Department of Cultural Anthropology & Ethnology, Uppsala University, Sweden.
- B.A. Degree magna cum laude (Anthropology), with Departmental High Honors in Anthropology. Harvard College , Cambridge , Mass. USA . 1968-1973 (class of 1972). _- Ph.D. Degree in Cultural Anthropology, 1981. Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden. _- Associate Professor ("Docent") 1984. Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
3. Research Profile
Saami (Lapp) and Circumpolar Studies, Pastoralism, Minority Politics, Nation State - Minority Law, Social effects of Chernobyl disaster. Politials Ecology": global environmentalism and indigenous rights.
4. Ongoing Research Projects
a) Survey of Living Conditions in the Arctic : Inuit, Saami, and the Indigenous Peoples of Chukotka (Nordic Council of Ministers, etc.);
Arctic scientists wrote in the 1998 Opportunities in Arctic Research: Final Report for the US National Science Foundation, "For the last few decades the scientific community has expressed concern about the vulnerability of the Arctic and its residents to environmental, social, and economic changes...Recent research results show that arctic climate and ecosystems are indeed changing substantially with impacts on people living in and outside the Arctic." The scientists listed as the first key question, "How are the rapid social, political, economic and environmental changes occurring in the Arctic today affecting the people there?" Delegates to the 1998 Inuit Circumpolar Conference passed a resolution supporting an international survey of living conditions in the Arctic . The resolution noted, "Rapid social change characterises all indigenous peoples of the Arctic...There is a need to document and compare the present state of living conditions and the development among the indigenous peoples of the Arctic ."
b) Post-Soviet Political and Socio-economic Transformation among the Indigenous Peoples of Northern Russia: Current Administrative Policies, Legal Rights, and Applied Strategies (The Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation);
This is a multi-disciplinary study that will examine the aboriginal rights and actual resource utilization of the small (those with populations below 50,000) indigenous peoples of Northern Russia , focusing on the socio-economic and political dimensions of their traditional cultures and livelihoods within the Russian economy and polity. Through in-depth anthropological fieldwork among a number of carefully chosen indigenous groups, we shall be in a position to document the radical transformations of indigenous life in the post-Soviet era and also to make important contributions to the ongoing theoretical debate as to why residual forms of operation, both from the pre-1917 period and the Soviet era, persist, and new democratic influences have not resulted in an overwhelming embrace of free market enterprise. Our emphasis on transformation will introduce aspects of continuity between pre- and post-Soviet processes enabling us to examine structures from a long-term perspective without preconceived ideas about the course of post-Soviet processes. This analysis can best be accomplished by comparative cases of objective empirical study of Russian indigenous life at the ground level.
c) World Heritage Site Dilemma: Environmentalist and Indigenous Movements in Collision (Swedish Research Council);
Nowhere is the confrontation between the two worthy ideas of preserving nature and preserving indigenous cultures more obvious than in the administration of the so-called "mixed" World Heritage Sites. Four such World Heritage Sites exist in the world today, and each one illustrates different problems with fulfilling the general goals for the preservation of nature and indigenous people. These four World Heritage Sites include Laponia in Sweden , Kakadu and Uluru-Kata Tjuta in Australia , and Tongariro in New Zealand . Each one of these sites also illustrates different ways of dealing with the necessary negotiations between representatives for nature conservation and representatives for the protection of indigenous cultures. The contrast between global intentions and local realities means that it is not altogether uncomplicated to implement the World Heritage goals. The relationship between local actors, national authorities and the global society generates new and exciting situations and meetings, but also new potential areas of conflict. This comparative study between the World Heritage Sites mentioned above will provide an interesting insight into how this "glocal" arena becomes the stage for UNESCO's intention to preserve nature, biodiversity and indigenous peoples´cultures. Project work together with Åsa Nilsson Dahlström and Carina Green.
d) Home, Hearth, and Household in the Circumpolar North (Boreas ESF);
Circumpolar indigenous peoples hold their home hearths with special reverence. The hearth is a place where hunters and herders reciprocate the respect granted them by animals by feeding the fire with fat or spirits. This project will place the focal metaphors of hearth, home and household at the centre of a research agenda to understand northern philosophy, cultural resilience, and the use of space. Through uniting the efforts of indigenous people, cultural resource specialists, archaeologists, anthropologists, and historical demographers, we aim to demonstrate the special dynamics of northern households, broadly defined, as well as contribute to the revival of cultural awareness now underway in indigenous societies across the North.
e) Eco-system Finnmark (Norwegian Research Council)
Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus) husbandry is believed to be the cornerstone of the Saami culture in northern Fennoscandia. The proposed project will focus on variations in time allocation among Saami reindeer herders in West Finnmark, Norway . This project will explore how herders deal with decision trade-offs in connection to time use. These trade-offs will most likely result in different herding strategies adopted by different herders, and such differences are believed to be an important factor in explaining geographic variation in the number of reindeer in Finnmark. Moreover, variations in reindeer numbers between different pasture areas, and between different husbandry units may also be explained by such decision trade-offs. This study will focus on the West Finnmark Reindeer Pasture Area because Saami herders in this area make more additional earnings compared to other areas in Norway , and because this area has great variations in reindeer numbers. The approach outlined in the present study can, within the time limit for the project, generate knowledge concerning time allocation and the within as well as across herd variation in productivity. This again can be used for developing sustainable management plans that are both grounded in a local setting, working with local practises and that are based on sound scientific considerations concerning resource use. Project led by Prof. Björn Bjerkli in partnership with Prof. Rolf Ims, University of Tromsö , Norway .
f) Dynamics of Circumpolar Land Use and Ethnicity (CLUE), funded by the American National Science Foundation
Rapid Climate Change (RCC) has serious consequences for indigenous peoples in the north with respect to ethnic mobilization and conflict, change of life style and resource utilization, also their agency on the world stage to secure land and resource rights. Through a combination of research and education in partnership with northern indigenous peoples of Russia, the CLUE initiative has been designed to grasp the resource/ethnicity relation of indigenous circumpolar societies confronting RCC. Although the CLUE project concentrates on the Russian field, material from Fennoscandia and Alaska will serve a comparative purpose. In some respects Fennoscandia, and in other respects Alaska, have carried much further discourses concerning some of the issues which are still in their infancy in Russia.
Once states have defined who can access land resources and what kinds of usage such access might entail, a circular dynamic is formed whereby categories of people (and even historically well-defined groups) aspire to be “recognized” according to these legal criteria. This circular dynamic builds up pressure as climate change, for example, pushes the agricultural line northward, as populations thereby shift, as winter reindeer pastures become increasingly “locked” by the fluctuations of temperatures, and traditional ways of living must be abandoned. While the concept of “indigenous people” has come on the one hand to imply certain rights according to international covenants, on the other hand it has come to mean different things in different countries and to be associated with a wide variety of accompanying national land use regulations. Even the size of a defined ethnic group can be of significance with respect to resource use rights, as in Russia where placement of peoples on the list of the so-called “small peoples of the North” holds great significance for their land rights and development, but might also thereby come to disqualify them from membership in a larger group with certain rights of political autonomy.
Most significantly, RCC discourse, not simply RCC itself, impacts on indigenous resource use and ethnicity. We can consider at least three other well-established major discourses: 1) indigenous resource control and ethnic mobilization, 2) environmentalism, often with global roots and funding, 3) heavy industrial resource extraction either condoned by government or run by it at various levels. The permutations of alliance formations have often been volatile, as the relative powers of these discourses wax and wane. In comparison to these discourses, awareness of RCC has been sudden and by its nature globally compelling. Not only will RCC itself alter the physical living situation of northern indigenous peoples, but its power as discourse will undoubtedly integrate in various ways with the delicate alliances and contentions which constantly develop among the three major discourses noted above. Can we discern path-dependant patterns of ethnic mobilization as resource pressures increase causing further rationalization of livelihoods?
The CLUE initiative is endorsed by the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON). CLUE has been sponsored as a full proposal by the IPY Joint Committee. Through its educational outreach component, CLUE will train local indigenous students and incorporate them into the research program in a manner of mutual benefit. This research will give “voice” to indigenous concerns and serve to facilitate communications between different levels of decision making. CLUE will have practical import for the resource use of local northern residents and our grasp of its dynamics.
5. For publications by Hugh Beach - see his Bibliography
Show my publications (link to DiVA)