University of Oulu

Vesa Väätänen (2021) Securing Anticipatory Geographies: Finland’s Arctic Strategy and the Geopolitics of International Competitiveness, Geopolitics, 26:2, 615-638, DOI: 10.1080/14650045.2019.1580267

Securing anticipatory geographies: Finland’s Arctic strategy and the geopolitics of international competitiveness

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Author: Väätänen, Vesa1
Organizations: 1Geography Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Informa, 2021
Publish Date: 2020-08-22


This paper presents an analysis of Finland’s Arctic strategy, providing a perspective on contemporary ‘Arctic geopolitics’ outside the dominant emphasis on the territorial politics of the Arctic Ocean coastal states. Concurrently, this serves as an empirical framework for interpreting the contextual de- and re-territorialising manifestations of geopolitical state strategies that are increasingly about securing competitive advantages, rather than exerting or extending territorial control over resources. By deploying the notion of anticipatory geographies this paper shows that Finland’s Arctic strategy documents have produced two intertwined promotional visions that are predicated on the discourses of international competitiveness and which relate Finland to the Arctic region. These are 1) Finland as a key provider of solutions to problems in Arctic development and 2) Finland as an attractive territorial node in ‘Arctic flows’. These anticipatory geographies are facilitated in practice through the political consolidation of ‘Arctic’ markets for Finnish exports and through infrastructure projects purportedly enhancing the position of Finland within various ‘economic flows’. Together, these notions illuminate the geopolitical dimension of attempts to secure competitive advantages and how this relates to the processes of state spatial transformation through de- and re-territorialisation, especially beyond the recently much emphasised context of city-regionalism.

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Series: Geopolitics
ISSN: 1465-0045
ISSN-E: 1557-3028
ISSN-L: 1465-0045
Volume: 26
Issue: 2
Pages: 615 - 638
DOI: 10.1080/14650045.2019.1580267
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 519 Social and economic geography
Copyright information: © 2019 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Geopolitics on 22 Feb 2019, available online: