This project explores the historical origins of global resource colonialism from a Swedish perspective. Swedish historical natural resource activities and interests in Africa, Caucasia and the Arctic are in focus.
The quest for the world’s remaining natural resources has intensified markedly in recent years. A salient and controversial point of debate in this context has become the extent to and ways in which old colonial relations are argued to live on in a new global “resource colonialism”. Although Sweden is rarely thought of as a colonial power, Swedish actors are currently very active when it comes to resource exploitation in many parts of the world. The purpose of the project is to explore the origins of Swedish interests and activities on the colonial resource arena. We are particularly interested in the interrelations between the interests and activities of two sets of actors: (1) Swedish extractive companies and technology providers, and (2) the Swedish government and other public actors. Three different regions are studied: Africa, Caucasia and the Arctic. An essential research issue concerns the extent to which it is possible to discern a common Swedish ‘style’ with regard to the country’s interests and activities in these areas. Empirically, the project is first and foremost based on archival documentation from a variety of countries throughout the world.
Arctic, Africa, Caucasus, Colonialism, Geopolitics, Natural resources, Political economy