Wilderness Politics in Finnish Lapland: Core and Periphery Conflicts


  • James N. Gladden


Approving public policy for managing nature tourism or visitor use in national wilderness areas in Finnish Lapland is a source of political conflict. People living in northern Finnish communities have an ideology of nature and economic interests setting them apart as a rural culture distinct from southern urban populations. Using dependency theory, this paper argues that the Helsinki government should invest northern people with the rights of a minority culture, which would help to equalize power relations between the core and periphery regions of the country. Suggested policies include protecting customary hunting rights and developing nature tourism in ways that support local economies. Attention is also given to the need to preserve the wild character of designated wilderness areas.






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