Shen Yunlu

Shen Yunlu

Lecturer, Shanghai International Studies University, China

Visiting at: Umeå University, Sweden
Period: 1 month
Research Theme: Swedish role in Arctic governance and the potential of Sino + Swedish Arctic Cooperation

From January to February of 2018, Shen Yunlu received a CNARC scholarship to guest visit the Arctic Research Center (ARCUM) at Umeå University in Sweden.

Research Report from Shen Yunlu

 1. Arcum and Umeå

From January to February of 2018, I received a CNARC scholarship to guest visit the Arctic Research Center (ARCUM) at Umeå University in Sweden.

Before this trip, my research content and fields are mainly the influence of small countries in Europe, the polar strategy of the Nordic countries, and Nordic countries' China policy. I command the language of Swedish and once studied in Sweden, my research interest mainly focuses on the influence mechanism of small countries (especially Sweden) in international institutions, I find Umeå University a proper site for me to visit. To understand the status of Swedish Arctic research and Sweden's role in the Arctic governance, is also one of the main purposes of this trip.

Umeå University is one of the eight comprehensive universities in Sweden. The disciplines are very rich. The Arctic Research Center I visited is a department directly under the university. Its role is to bring together various Arctic-related subjects and related scholars. In addition, it plays a platform role and enriches the research results in the Arctic. The research areas cover climate research, indigenous research, waterway research, strategic research, and more.

2. "Northern Cities´ Support for Mining Activities and Their Causes"

During the two months of my visit, I participated in three impressive academic activities. The three activities were the "Northern Cities' Support for Mining Activities and Their Causes" Seminar and the "Arctic Regional Comprehensive Research" Seminar. And a PhD pre-answer meeting on “Climate change for dengue fever and subsequent impact”. Interestingly, these three events were initiated by the Arctic Research Center that I visited and were presented and delivered by experts and scholars from different research fields, different disciplines, different universities and different regions. The content was rich, and the discussion was fierce.

The academic conference “The Support for Mining Activities in Northern Cities and Its Causes” mainly shows the recent academic achievements of scholars at Umeå University, and its research project is based on the sustainable development of the mining industry in northern Sweden. First, the experts combed and introduced the current political/sociological research literature on mining issues. Although the academic community conducted basic research on the relationship between mining and ecological development, the overall number of studies was small, and it was related to the discussion of the state. The impact of policies on mining is almost a blank.

The study was targeted at cities with mining operations in northern Scandinavia, using comparative case studies to compare the degree of support/conflict of mining operations in these cities, and the mining industry’s economic contribution, then analyzed the differences in support from the perspective of the nature of mining actors, the economic contribution of mining operations to cities, and the communication channels between mining companies and local residents, and explored how to develop mining in the future.

Studies have shown that mining operations in the region can be highly supported if the mining actors primarily hire labor from the locality and respect local environmental protection and return some of the mining benefits to the region. Some mining companies ignore the environmental concerns of the public and do not have effective communication mechanisms, including lack of middlemen and lack of understanding of the local economic situation. Therefore, it is easy to cause serious confrontation with the public and is not conducive to their mining business. development of. Such research has a strong reference and practical significance for the current Arctic governance.

At present, the development and exploitation of the Arctic region involves problems and obstacles that undermine or even deprive the rights of indigenous peoples. How to develop and utilize Arctic resources, including fisheries, oil and gas exploration, shipping, etc., under the premise of protecting the interests of indigenous peoples is a problem of reality. The experts and scholars present also put forward their own views. Whether it can be truly inviolable to the interests of local residents or indigenous peoples is an ethical issue. Since the Saami people in the northern region are mostly living groups, whether it involves democracy is also a problem. At the practical level, in addition to improving the supervision and management of the developers, how to legally protect the rights and interests of local residents is a new topic, which requires the legal profession to participate in the research. In addition to democracy and law, the scholars present also raised issues related to ecological protection. At the same time, it is necessary to clarify the interaction between the government and the mining actors, to come up with a practical solution to solve or prevent mining conflicts, and to further classify the types of conflicts. Peter, director of the Arctic Research Center, proposed that in addition to the impact of mining actors, governments, and local residents on the sustainability of the mining industry, is there an impact of international mechanisms on the mining industry? He pointed out that the current international mechanism and relevant UN laws advocate the protection of the interests of the aborigines, while the EU does the opposite and encourages mining.

Through this academic conference, I found that at present, the Swedish academic community has begun to mention higher status in the study of human and environment, people and nature in the study of natural environment and natural resource development, and to ensure the sustainability of people and the environment. Development is the prerequisite for sustainable development that ensures resource utilization and development. The same is true for the governance actions in the Arctic region. Humanistic care should always be the ultimate goal of human science and technology progress. Do not put the cart before the horse. To achieve this goal, current academic research and practice are relatively lacking.

3. "Match Making Day"

The "Match Making Day" seminar has brought together scholars from many different disciplines, which is regularly held by the Arctic Research Center to bring together experts from the Arctic/Nordic research field. Together, it provides scholars with a platform for academic exchanges and academic cooperation. The seminar included research on the impact of climate on urban landscapes and urban settings, climate and human health, and climate and economic relations.

In climate research, Sweden is one of the more advanced countries in the entire EU region. On many climate-related issues, Sweden has a greater say in the EU, and the right to speak here is mainly derived from excellent climate research. Sweden's climate research has combined it with various disciplines, including applied physics, economics, public health and clinical medicine, and cultural communication.

Probably because I was a liberal art major, the most impressive thing on that day was the research shown in the field of applied physics. The contribution of applied physics is to provide different solutions for buildings, HVAC design and pavement design for cities with different climates. In this symposium, Professor Yang Bin said that, in the case of Umeå, because of the cold weather in the north, the snowy days and the lower temperatures, the design of the building is biased towards warm colors. The design should give the public more shelter to avoid the wind and snow, which can help people overcome the cold.

Professor Lena of the Arctic Research Center also participated in this day's seminar. In addition to doing research in the Arctic Center, she usually has about 3 days in a week to conduct clinical research in the Ume University Hospital, the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases. The health of the urban residents is the subject of her concern. Interestingly, Professor Lena himself is of Saami origin, so her research also includes a lot of information about the Sami. The impact of climate on people's minds and how to effectively prevent mental illness may be a reference for future Arctic governance.

Seminars such as interdisciplinary, fusion, and collisions are routine activities of the Arctic Research Center. About 20 or so scholars attend each seminar, which is different from the in-house seminars. Scholars hear the voices and suggestions of other academic circles, open their horizons, and even think about problems that they never thought of. In addition, the study of the Arctic block is also requiring the cooperation of scholars from all walks of life, in order to promote regional governance in all directions. This is worth learning in China. Although many foreign scholars have fixed research fields, he can have some understanding of some closely related subject areas, not only refined but also extensive.

4. "The Impact of Climate Change on Dengue Fever and Subsequent Changes"

The Ph.D. pre-answer session on “The Impact of Climate Change on Dengue Fever and Subsequent Changes” is a small seminar on doctoral thesis of doctoral student Jing at Umeå University. In addition to her, there were also me and Peter, director of the Arctic Research Center. This doctoral dissertation uses a mathematical model to analyze the differences in the extent of dengue fever in various regions before and after climate change. In other words, the article first introduces the temperature changes actually caused by climate change in various regions each year, and then explains the disease of dengue fever. Then she introduced the relationship between temperature changes and disease, followed by the current epidemic area of ​​dengue fever and local climate conditions, and finally reveals the effects of temperature changes caused by climate change on the spread of dengue fever without control.

This article is very rigorous first, and the mathematical model it uses has considerable credibility. Second, the importance of disease and human health issues can be imagined. The energy conservation and emission reductions called for in previous years are in need of such direct and striking papers to warn the residents of the global village. If they do not take this issue seriously, in the future everyone will suffer from the disease. Third, the melting of Arctic ice and snow is a happy event for many commercial interests. Because the snow and ice melt, the waterway can be developed and utilized, including fishery, oil and gas or transportation, it will benefit people. But the consequences are equally huge and dangerous.

For a person with a background of political science, the current domestic education and research mostly use qualitative research methods, and the methods of quantitative research are not popular. The Shanghai University School of Social Sciences is a good attempt to open a quantitative research method course for Ph.D. students every summer vacation, but it is also limited to the field of sociology research. After contacting some foreign studies, I found that quantitative research is a trend of doing research at present, and it is also a way to break through the bottleneck of current political science research. Combined with the current trend of subject integration, we can try to let science teachers to popularize some basic quantitative research methods and current commonly used quantitative research operation software, such as stata, for domestic political students.

5. Other research findings

In addition to participating in academic activities organized by the Arctic Research Center, I also used the library resources of the school to consult relevant research literature on the Arctic. At present, the Nordic academic papers on political science in the field of Arctic governance are mainly concentrated in the basic stage. The literature combs the current status and difficulties of the Arctic governance and the bottlenecks, the future prospects of the Arctic governance and some to do list. Chinese scholars has only completed the understanding of Arctic governance and the Arctic strategy of countries along the Arctic, as well as the latest developments in Arctic governance but the intricate relationships between Arctic countries are less well understood. If we can start the Arctic governance from the Nordic countries, it should be a relatively new perspective, that is, the Nordic countries as a sub-regional group, whether there is cooperation in the Arctic region, how to cooperate, how to achieve common goals, and whether it is open to the outside world. These are all questions that can be considered. As an extra-territorial country, how to effectively participate in Arctic governance has become a major issue for China at present. Under this major issue, what methods are used to contribute to its own strength, including human and material resources; how to seize opportunities and establish mutual trust with Arctic countries are practical issues worth exploring.

6. Thanks

In the field of Arctic governance, the Nordic countries are undoubtedly ahead of China, and the breadth of their research is amazing. I am very grateful to CNARC and the Umeå University Arctic Research Center (ARCUM) for giving me such a valuable opportunity to get a close look at the cutting-edge research dynamics of the Arctic and the gorgeous Northern Lights.

 shen yunlu U