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Qullissat: Historicising and Localising the Danish Scramble for the Arctic

  • Astrid Andersen
  • Lars Jensen
  • Kirsten Hvenegård-Lassen
Chapter

Abstract

The rise and fall of the town and coal mine at Qullissat raises a number of challenging questions about Danish administrative culture in Greenland. Through this historical case study, the authors challenge the assumption that the so-called scramble for the Arctic is solely about our own contemporaneity. The establishment of the coal mine and its labour-force town in 1924 constitutes a much earlier scramble. Importantly, it illustrates how such scrambles represent a continued colonial mindset whose power lines are both deliberately and inadvertently opaque. While the wilful exercising of colonial power has attracted much attention in postcolonial studies, the unintentional, disassembled side of colonial rule creates analytical confusion, not least because of the difficulties involved in tracing decision-making processes even where colonial rule is demonstrably hegemonic.

Keywords

Greenland Mining history Qullissat Modernisation Postcolonial 

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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Astrid Andersen
    • 1
  • Lars Jensen
    • 1
  • Kirsten Hvenegård-Lassen
    • 1
  1. 1.Roskilde UniversityRoskildeDenmark

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