Title: From reindeer nomadism to extreme experiences: economic transitions in Finnish Lapland in the 19th and 20th centuries

Authors: Maria Lahteenmaki

Addresses: Department of History, University of Helsinki, Box 59, Finland 00014, Europe

Abstract: Finnish Lapland emerged in 1809 when Sweden lost its eastern part of Lapland to Russia after the Finnish War. The area ceded was integrated into the Grand Duchy of Finland, an autonomous area in the Russian Empire. Finnish Lapland had about 39,700 inhabitants in the 1880s, of whom 960 (2%) were Sami. In 2003, the total population of the district of Lapland was 187,000, of whom 6000 (3%) were Sami. This paper deals with the transition periods in the Lappish economy over a long period. The transitions were associated with the border arrangements made in the 19th century on the one hand and the subsidies policy pursued by the government as well as more general socio-economic structural changes on the other. I will consider the economic transitions from the viewpoint of the current economic situation. Did the Lappish economy work better in the past, and in what conditions did it work on the whole?

Keywords: nomadism; subsistence self-employment; reindeer; Sami; Finland; Finnish Lapland; economic transition; economic development.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2006.010913

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2006 Vol.3 No.6, pp.696 - 704

Available online: 17 Sep 2006 *

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