Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 358

358 Arctic Yearbook 2014 This paper discusses the proposals and prospects for, and the setbacks experienced in, the economic diversification of Kirovsk and Revda. The empirical part of the paper uses a variety of qualitative methods by analyzing expert interviews conducted in these two single-industry towns as well as local and regional press material. The interviews were conducted in the Murmansk region in 2012 by the author. The paper asks how the challenge of economic diversification for these two communities can be explained by the concept of path-dependency where the local resource path has promoted both paternalistic expectations as well as by the concept of the resource curse that explains structural and ‘psychological’ obstacles for economic diversification as consequences of the resource-based development of the communities. The paper hypothesizes that path-dependency, which has exaggerated both the local resource curse as a consequence of resource-based local development and the paternalistic expectations of the residents of these mining communities, partly explains the different prospects for economic diversification in the Arctic mining towns of Kirovsk and Revda. Albeit the case concerns Arctic single-industry communities, the case in general reflects a typical problem both for post-Soviet Russia and peripheral localities and single-industry resource communities. As Kenneth Coates (1994) emphasizes, universal problems of remoteness characterize peripheral localities also in the Far North. Theoretical Approach The theoretical framework of the study approaches the challenge of post-industrial restructuring and the potential for economic diversification of a local economic culture. The case discusses diversification away from mining to tourism, which represents an alternative development path for the local economy in both Kirovsk and Revda. Avoiding uncontrolled shrinkage of population is among the main goals of sustainable development in these communities. Tourism might offer an alternative in \