Conducted by Ulf Mörkenstam, together with colleagues from Norway and Sweden, funded by Formas

The last two decades we have witnessed a growing global acknowledgement of indigenous rights, for instance manifested in the 2007 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Nordic countries have all responded to Sámi right claims by establishing popularly elected Sámi parliaments to serve as representative bodies of the Sámi people. Research on the parliaments’ position and function within the Sámi communities is, however, rare. The aim of this project is to analyse and compare the Sámi parliaments’ position and function within the Sámi communities in Sweden and Norway.

The comparative approach will generate new knowledge on both the Sámi parliaments’ position in respective country and on the impact of different institutional arrangements on the political mediation and representation of Sámi interests. A contemporary perspective is, however, not enough in order to understand the differences between the parliaments - a historical analysis of the Sámi movements’ political mobilisation and the political strategies chosen are decisive for our understanding of contemporary politics and the Sámi parliaments’ position today. The project thus consists of three parts: (i) to gather and make available information/statistics connected to earlier elections to the Sámi parliaments; (ii) to carry out an election study of the elections to the Sámi parliaments in Sweden and Norway in 2013; and (iii) to accomplish historical analyses of the political strategies of the Sámi movements in Sweden and Norway.