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Is There a Supply Crisis?: Sweden’s Critical Metals, 1917–2014
Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9558-4621
2018 (English)In: The Extractive Industries and Society, ISSN 2214-790X, E-ISSN 2214-7918, Vol. 5, no 3, p. 393-403Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

While global metal production has increased almost exponentially over the last hundred years, actors have constantly worried about future scarcities. This article explores why state and business actors within a small country, Sweden, have perceived metals as critical and which strategies they have advanced to cope with potential shortages. It analyzes four reports and/or records of meetings from 1917, 1954, 1980 and 2014, years when the debate about resource scarcity flourished both in Sweden and internationally. The reasons why actors feared the future supply were largely connected to price increases, potential supply disruptions because of war or political instability, and soaring demand for technologies containing metals. Even Sweden, a neutral country, feared shortages because of political instability in foreign countries because of the transnational metal flows. The actors attempted to manage shortages by increased domestic production, technological development, stockpiling, international agreements and recycling. Tracing this issue over time, the article unpacks the importance of and concerns with metal flows in an age of rapid industrial, technological and geopolitical change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2018. Vol. 5, no 3, p. 393-403
Keywords [en]
Critical metals, Sweden, resource scarcity, supply crisis
National Category
History of Technology
Research subject
History of Science, Technology and Environment
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-156963DOI: 10.1016/j.exis.2018.03.012Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85045120565OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-156963DiVA, id: diva2:1293148
Available from: 2019-03-04 Created: 2019-03-04 Last updated: 2019-03-15Bibliographically approved

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Vikström, Hanna

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Citation style
  • apa
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  • Other style
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  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
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Output format
  • html
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  • asciidoc
  • rtf