Arctic Social Sciences Centre

The Arctic Social Sciences Program was established at the EUSP Department of Anthropology within the EUSP Professorship in Arctic Social Sciences in 2010. It focuses on the socio-anthropological research of the Arctic, primarily the Russian North and Siberia.

In 2010, the Arctic Social Sciences Program was established at the EUSP Department of Anthropology within the EUSP Professorship in Arctic Social Sciences.


What's our perception of Arctic Social Sciences?

First of all, we define the Arctic Social Sciences (североведение in Russian) as an integrated and interdisciplinary research area. This field, having emerged in Russia (most notably in St. Petersburg) in the late 19th century and having been steadily developing until the late 1920s, is nowadays fragmented; it has been split into ethnographic, linguistic, human geography etc. research tasks. The Arctic scholars are dissociated. The Arctic Social Sciences Program aims to tackle this dissociation and to revive the interdisciplinary Arctic social research.

We define North quite broadly here: it's an integrated set of all areas traditionally classified as High North, Russian North, Siberia, Far East, Alaska, Greenland, Canadian Arctic, Arctic States etc. Our Arctic Social Sciences Program has its main research focus on the Russian Arctic and the Russian High North.

Analyzing this region's diverse life aspects, we put emhasis on the modern times, not the past; and on its entire population, not only indigenous peoples. We use interdisciplinary and comparative approaches to analyze the events of the past and the present; and these are assessed in close connection to the neighboring areas — Scandinavia, Alaska, Japan, China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan etc.

The Program focuses on the modern social processes of the North: ethnic and linguistic, socio-demographic and religious, political (including cross-border) and economic ones.

The primary goal of the program is the establishment the Arctic Studies Center in the EUSP, focusing on social/cultural anthropology and sociolinguistics.


Program's focal areas:

  • teaching MA and PhD students (courses of lectures, seminars, advising and supervising) and creating the network of experts continuing their research of the North;
  • research activities, including preparing & publishing research papers and organizing & planning the conferences;
  • working on Russian Science Foundation "Children of the Nineties": strategies of the present and plans for the future research project (2014–2016; Project ID 14-18-02136);
  • carrying out the editorial projects;
  • creating a permanent network of contacts with peer research bodies, both in Russia and abroad;
  • organizing the regular Siberian Seminar;
  • carrying out the Master-level Arctic Social Studies program at the Department of Anthropology.
Institution European University at St Petersburg
Country Russia
Infrastructure type Research centre/institute
Disciplines Sociology and cultural studies
Political science and civics
Language of operation Russian
Keywords social studiesantropology


According to the University working hours; individual researchers are always open to contact.

Contact information

Professor Nikolai Vakhtin

European University at St. Petersburg
Gagarinskaia Street 3A, 191187 St. Petersburg
Tel.: +7 (812) 386-7637; fax: +7 (812) 386-7639

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