Research in the Northern Periphery & Arctic calls for Redefining Peripherality

We need a radical change of perspectives and policy for rural and island communities.  This is the conclusion of research rooted in communities and institutions across the Northern Periphery and Arctic, from Canada to Finland, and including Ireland and Scotland.

Funded by the NPA Programme, the research led to calls to redefine peripherality, which were taken up by the Regional Studies Association (see event and blog), the Nordic Council of Ministers (through Nordic Talks), the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme (at their Annual Event in 2021) and the Scottish Government’s Scottish Rural Network, who funded CoDeL to communicate and build a network of practitioners around redefining peripherality. The RSA Blog won the Best Blogpost of 2022 Award (see here).

While the results emerged from research on the economic and health impacts of Covid-19 on island and rural communities, they apply all the more so as we face the twin climate and  biodiversity emergencies.

The research across 11 countries and across diverse disciplines, such as health, economics and human rights, was delivered by a partnership, led by CoDeL, of 6 universities / research institutes, 3 public institutions and 3 business networks .

For the Citizen Summary of the research see here.  For the press release introducing the research see our May 26th blog post hereAll of the detailed research reports on the impacts of Covid-19 on differing sectors and from differing perspectives are available to read in full below.

“The Nordic and Arctic region and Scotland are determined to sustain and build ties to deliver resilient and thriving communities, especially in island and other so-called ‘remote’ regions”, says CoDeL Director Thomas Fisher.  “We are delighted that Uist in the Outer Hebrides has been able to play such a leading role in articulating the new agenda of Redefining Peripherality that is so deeply relevant across the Northern Periphery and Arctic region.”

All the full research reports are here:


In addition, here is an additional report from another NPA COVID-19 Response Project, TechSolns, which we drew on for our overall research findings, especially around the contribution of small and micro-enterprises to innovation and resilience in peripheral areas during COVID-19.