University of Oulu

Vesa Väätänen (2019) Investigating the particularities of regionalization: contested state–federal relations and the politics of Alaska’s Arctic Policy, Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography, 101:3, 171-186, DOI: 10.1080/04353684.2019.1616510

Investigating the particularities of regionalization : contested state–federal relations and the politics of Alaska’s Arctic Policy

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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, 0.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2019
Publish Date: 2020-05-17


This paper focuses on the particularities of a regionalization process by investigating how a supranational region emerges as a context of, and tool for, political contestation regarding power relations between a sub-national and national government. This is done through an empirical case study of the Arctic Policy of the State of Alaska. The analysis shows how the contested relationship between state and federal governments became re-contextualized in relation to the Arctic due to a newfound federal attention on the region. This culminated in how the Arctic region is perceived within the ‘Alaskan’ and federal contexts. Additionally, the case study shows that by attempting to transform how the Arctic is perceived within, and enacted through, the policies of the federal government, state actors in Alaska have sought to utilize federal attention on the region and exert an influence on federal policies that affect Alaska. This, in turn, has potential implications for the overall regionalization process of the Arctic itself. The paper contends that rather than de-constructing regionalization processes as wholes, by focusing on the particularities of these processes we can better understand the politics at play. This concurrently helps to illuminate how such politics may affect the trajectory of regionalization itself.

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Series: Geografiska annaler. Series B, Human geography
ISSN: 0435-3684
ISSN-E: 1468-0467
ISSN-L: 0435-3684
Volume: 101
Issue: 3
Pages: 171 - 201
DOI: 10.1080/04353684.2019.1616510
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 519 Social and economic geography
Funding: This work was supported by Emil Aaltosen Säätiö.
Copyright information: © 2019 Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography on 17 May 2019, available online: