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Durham University

Department of Geography

Staff Profile

Mr Michael Laiho, BA (Hons), MSc

Resarch Postgraduate (PhD) in the Department of Geography
Fax: +44 (0) 191 33 41801
Room number: 601

Contact Mr Michael Laiho (email at


Michael is researching how the EU imagines Arctic space by exploring a genealogy of carbon. He is a member of the Centre for Doctoral Training in Energy at Durham Energy Institute and an affiliated research in the UArctic network.

During his earlier career he worked as postgraduate researcher and part-time teacher at the Arctic Centre and University of Lapland, Finland, and has interned at the Steffanson Arctic Institute (University of Akureyri, Iceland) while working on the Arctic Human Development Report II and Arctic Social Indicators II projects.

His qualifications include a masters degree in European Studies: Ideas and Identities from the European Institute, LSE.

A summary of his main ideas, 'Four Myths about the supposed oil and gas bonanza in the Arctic', has been published in The Conversation online and republished elsewhere.

Public Events

  • Expert panel on Arctic Energy with Rasmus Gjedsso Bertelsen (UiT), Marc Lanteigne (Norwegian Institute of International Affairs), Franck Galland (CEO, Environmental Emergency & Security Services) and Terzah Tippin Poe (Harvard University)
    French Military Academy, Arctic Encounter Paris, December 2015

Research Workshops

  • Narrating Nation, Sovereignty and Territory: an interdisciplinary research symposium
    Institute of Advanced Study, Durham University, December 2016
    Co-organised with Tom Spray, Durham University

Conference Papers

  • Tracing energy and climate change discourse through time and space, and back to the future of the EU's Arctic policy
    RGS-IBG Annual Conference, London 2016
  • Mythologising geopower through the EU's Arctic policy
    RGS-IBG Annual Conference, London 2016

Recent Conference Sessions

  • Nature in place and place in Nature: Land, resources and the hermeneutics of governmentality
    Association of American Geographers, San Francisco, March-April 2016
    Co-organised with Brice Perombelon, University of Oxford
  • Energy, land and resource extraction in the Arctic. Towards a Political Ecology of the Arctic
    Royal Geographical Society with IBG, London, August-September 2016
    Co-organised with Brice Perombelon, University of Oxford

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