Cold Rush: Dynamics of language and identity in expanding Arctic economics

The Cold Rush project examines the transforming Arctic North as an expanding hotspot at the juncture of economic development and cultural transformation, focusing on the ways in which language and identity matter in these processes.

Reminiscent of the ‘Gold Rush’ in the 19th and 20th centuries, the current ‘Cold Rush’ creates novel profit opportunities and political struggles related to increased resource extraction, transport, and tourism. These processes increase the region’s strategic importance, while opening it up to new ideological confrontations over language and identity as sources of pride and profit. As these key categories of social structuration change, so too do power relations, understood in terms of social inequalities, and struggles over legitimate access to resources.


The project is funded by the Academy of Finland 2016-2020.