The need to understand how Arctic coastal communities can remain resilient in the wake of rapid anthropogenic change that is disproportionately affecting the region—including, but not limited to, climate instability and the increasing reach of the tourism sector—is more urgent than ever. With sovereignty discourse at the forefront of Arctic sustainability research, integrating existing sovereignty scholarship into the tourism literature yields new theory-building opportunities. The purpose of this paper is to conceptually analyze the implications of (1) applying both theoretical and social movement ideas about sovereignty to tourism research in Arctic coastal communities, (2) the extent to which these ideas revolve around livelihood sovereignty in particular, (3) the influence of existing tourism development on shifting livelihood sovereignty dynamics, and, ultimately, (4) the opportunities for further research that enables more sovereign sustainable tourism development across the Arctic region. Given the northward march of the tourism frontier across Arctic regions, an exploration of tourism’s influence on sovereignty presents a timely opportunity to advance theory and promote policy incentives for forms of tourism development that are more likely to yield sustainable and resilient outcomes for Arctic communities.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited