top of page
Line separator


Members of the Social Sciences & Humanities Working Group are interested in any aspects of Social Sciences and Humanities research in the Arctic, as well as their connections with other NARI Working Groups.


  • White Twitter Icon

The Humanities and Social Science Working Group (HSS WG) consists of NARI members and associate members engaged in all disciplines within the humanities, and social sciences. Our members include a diverse range of academics and professionals from all different career stages, both Irish and international, and new members and non-Arctic experts with an interest in the region are always welcome. Where feasible, the HSS WG will also promote interdisciplinary collaboration with the marine and terrestrial NARI working groups. 

The geographic area in which the HSS WG is focused on can be broadly defined as including the northernmost regions/territories of the following; Norway, Sweden, Finland, Canada, Russia and the United States [Alaska], in addition to the entire land mass of Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands [the latter two territories are part of the Kingdom of Denmark].  

There are four key aims of the Humanities and Social Sciences Working Group 

  • To support current and future research of Irish Arctic and Northern Studies across multiple disciplines spanning the humanities, and social sciences through providing information, reading lists, academic papers and other resources on the NARI website

  • To encourage collaboration on the creation of academic papers, research projects and educational events/workshops amongst working group members and associate members 

  • To organise meetings and research activities for working group members


To demonstrate that HSS WG members have the capacity to contribute expertise for Irish participation in the Arctic Council’s sustainable development working group (SDWG) and the Emergency Preparedness, Prevention and Response (EPPR) working group. Should Ireland’s Application for Observer status be successful (pending the Senior Arctic Official Meeting in May 2021).

1) Historical and cultural heritage of Arctic and Northern regions 


Historical research themes

  • Early Christian Ireland and the diaspora of Irish clergy to Scotland, the Faroe Islands, Iceland and across the Atlantic

  • Ireland’s strong Viking heritage as a result of successive waves of incoming Nordic peoples during the Middle Ages; 

  • 19th and early 20th century Arctic explorers of Irish origins

  • Irish servicemen who volunteered in the British Forces during WWII and whom were deployed to Northern and Arctic regions


Cultural heritage research themes

  • The diaspora of Irish music, dance and cultural traditions to Northern regions 

  • Cultural and anthropological studies of Arctic and northern peoples including indigenous studies, linguistics, oral histories and traditional music and dance 

2) Climate change, sustainable development and society in Arctic communities

  • Behavioural change

  • Decision making

  • Perceptions of risk (e.g. effects of climate change)

  • Food economies and Health

  • Participatory decision making

  • Diversity and inclusion

  • Digitalization and connectivity

  • Architecture and the built environment of the North


3) Politics, Security, and International Relations of the Arctic

  • Ireland’s Application for Arctic Council Observer status

  • Politics and governance of the Arctic Council 

  • Non-Arctic states and Arctic Council Observers

  • Comparative Arctic politics

  • Arctic security, defence and NATO

  • The Arctic and linkages to Outer Space and satellite development 

  • Theories of International Relations (IR) and the Arctic

  • The EU and the Arctic



Paul Shanahan
National Maritime College of Ireland
Graham O'Brien
Maria Looney
National Maritime College of Ireland
Jelena Perišić
University of Limerick
Robert Lynch
National Maritime College of Ireland
Simon Morgan
University of Limerick
Dr. Óscar Mascareñas
University of Limerick
Dr. Aileen Dillane
University of Limerick
James Molloy
University of Limerick
Dr. Sandra Joyce
University of Limerick
Shane McCorristine
Newcastle University
Eimear Tynan
The Oslo School of Architecture and Design
Dr. Paul Montgomery
Trinity College Dublin
Dr. Sarah Milne
University of Limerick
bottom of page