Arctic ice edge narratives: scale, discourse and ontological security

Siri Veland, Amanda H. Lynch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The Arctic ice edge centres deliberations over the region's futures, either as an explicit policy and research problem, or as an implicit control on innovations. This exploratory paper proposes a narrative approach to examine ontological security, identifying a common epistemic structure in multiple ways of knowing the ice edge, and of devising associated policy. These epistemic narratives weave discourse (ideas, concepts and knowledge) and scale (as relationships, networks and timelines) to provide coordinate systems of purpose and identity that unfold as the material world. Surreptitious, un-narrated or interfering changes can produce ontological insecurities, often leading to closed decisions in authoritarian forums. Research and policy designed for complexity anticipate ontological insecurities through democratic and deliberative narratives of earth system processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-17
Number of pages9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Arctic
  • discourse
  • ice edge
  • narrative
  • ontological security
  • scale


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