Valuing Sustainability in the Arctic

In this research, Janelle Knox-Hayes investigates dynamic tensions of sustainable development at the interface of culture and political economy in Iceland. The project examines the meanings and practices of sustainability as they are mediated through initiatives that operate across global and local scales. Through in-depth fieldwork, interviews, surveys and GIS visualization, she study how cultural, political and economic institutions influence concepts and processes of sustainability. One of the goals of the study is to identify core values of sustainable development as well as potential bridge concepts, terms that bridge scientific rational and normative value. Using surveys and GIS techniques these concepts can be compared across socio demographic characteristics and geographically mapped. By addressing the transmission and syncretic internalization of sustainability within cultural context, the project provides a basis for building flexibility into international environmental discourses and agreements.