Based on extensive research in the Arctic Russian region of Chukotka, Settlers on the Edge is the first English-language account of settler life anywhere in the circumpolar north to appear since Robert Paine's The White Arctic (1977), and the first to explore the experiences of Soviet-era migrants to the far north. Niobe Thompson describes the remarkable transformation of a population once dedicated to establishing colonial power on a northern frontier into a rooted community of locals now resisting a renewed colonial project. He also provides unique insights into the future of identity politics in the Arctic, the role of resource capital and the oligarchs in the Russian provinces, and the fundamental human questions of belonging and transience.
Niobe Thompson is a documentary filmmaker, a partner in Clearwater Media, and a research associate at the Canadian Circumpolar Institute. He also teaches in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Alberta.
Illustrations Preface Acknowledgments 1 Introduction Part 1: The Soviet Years, 1955-91 2 Northern Settlement and the Late-Soviet State 3 Arctic Idyll: Living in Soviet Chukotka Part 2: Transition to Crisis, 1991-2000 4 Idyll Destroyed 5 Surviving without the State Part 3: Reconstruction, 2001-5 6 Modernization Again: The State Returns 7 Two Solitudes 8 Conclusion: Practices of Belonging 9 Afterword Appendices 1 List of Informants 2 Glossary of Russian Terms Notes References Index