Luke Laframboise

In February 2023, protests erupted in Olso in response to 500 days of inaction by the Norwegian state following the country's Supreme Court rulings regarding the Fosen wind farm project. Though the events of this case remain ongoing, Fosen has been compared in scope to the Alta conflict in the late 1970s and early 1980s, which is considered one of the most significant events in recent Sámi-state relations in Norway. This article takes that comparison as a baseline question and compares both cases as critical junctures, or, in the case of Fosen, the potential thereof. Making use of an adaption of Hillel David Soifer’s model of critical juncture operative conditions, the underlying factors of each case are examined to determine how such politically charged moments come about and what alternative institutional regimes were proposed during these critical pivot points. As this paper discusses, the comparisons between Alta and Fosen are apt, though the material conditions differ substantially. Rather, the ongoing Fosen case highlights the growing conflict between a well-established Indigenous rights regime and green energy policies that risk the tarnishing of the legacy that the events of Alta helped establish.

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