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  • 1. Veerart, Frank
    et al.
    Åberg, Anna
    Vikström, Hanna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Creating, capturing, and circulating commodities: the technology and politics of material resource flows, from the 19th century to the present2020In: The Extractive Industries and Society, ISSN 2214-790X, E-ISSN 2214-7918, Vol. 7, no 1, p. 1-7Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Extractive resources are unevenly distributed geographically and our dependence on such resources is growing, which has led to ever increasing flows of resources across the world. This situation has caused concern for numerous actors. However, such worries are not new. Todays’ feel of a deeply interconnected, rapidly changing world with global grand challenges has striking resemblances with the nineteenth century mood in the industrializing countries. In this special issue we study the temporal dynamics and multiple geographies of resource flows, and how actors have attempted to shape and control them. In five articles by historians of technology and the environment from Sweden, Russia and the Netherlands, we aim to broaden the view on resource narratives and emphasize their non-static characters by showing developments of resources as they travel through time and space. This introductory article introduces and positions five themes that are addressed in the contributions of special issue. In this special issue scholars discuss (1) the social construction of resources, (2) the importance of resources to nation states, (3) resource flows as transnational practices, (4) technopolitics of resources, and (5) resource flows as global political power hierarches, of resources such as oil, metals, iron ore, uranium and stone.

  • 2.
    Vikström, Hanna
    Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Is There a Supply Crisis?: Sweden’s Critical Metals, 1917–20142018In: The Extractive Industries and Society, ISSN 2214-790X, E-ISSN 2214-7918, Vol. 5, no 3, p. 393-403Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

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CiteExportLink to result list
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
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  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
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More languages
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