Research database

Project information
Project title
Social norms of equality and cooperation: a comparative approach
Project leader
Marius Warg Næss
Geographical localization of the research project in decimal degrees (max 5 per project, ex. 70,662°N and 23,707°E)
Malå Sameby: 65.3857987 North & 15.2623917 East. Røros: 62.5789813 North & 11.3444998 East.
  • Marius Warg Næss (NIKU)
  • Bård-Jørgen Bårdsen (NINA)
  • Anna Skarin (SLU)
  • Matthew Gwynfryn Thomas (, NINA, Tromsø & NIKU, Tromsø (postdoc who terminated his contract in the autumn and moved back to England)
Funding Source

Summary of Results

In line with the proposal, fieldwork was undertaken during late summer and autumn of 2017. Interviews were undertaken with reindeer herders in 2 samebyer (Saami villages): Malå forest reindeer herding community and Baste mountain reindeer herding community. In general, the Swedish partners from SLU reports that few people were willing to participate in the study, leaving us with only 9 interviews in Sweden so far (attempts are still made to interview more herders). Additionally, the Swedish partners from SLU reports that "part of the data collected during the interview have been lost due to problems related to backup of information during update of a computer. Efforts have been made to save the lost data and fortunate not all data was lost, however, as speak we do not know how large parts or exactly which data that was lost" (from SLU report).

To rectify this unfortunate situation, we also interviewed 14 herders from Essand, Riast/Hylling, Elgå and Trollheimen summer districts in Sør-Trøndelag/Hedmark Saami reindeer husbandry area between August and October. This makes it possible to adress the comparative aspect of the project by comparing herders in Finnmark with herders in Sør-Trøndelag/Hedmark. Moreover, if the data from the Swedish part of the project is salvageable, we will have increased the comparative aspect of the project by also including Sør-Trøndelag/Hedmark Saami reindeer husbandry area.

Master and PhD-students involved in the project


For the Management

Not any relevant information at the present stage.

Published Results/Planned Publications
  • Thomas, M. G., Bårdsen, B.-J. Næss, M. W. (in revision). The narrow gap between norms and cooperative behaviour in a reindeer herding community. Royal Society Open Science.
  • Næss, M. W. (2017). Reindeer herding in a changing world—a comparative analysis. In Kelman, I. (ed.) Arcticness and change: Power and voice from the north, UCL Press, London, U.K.
  • Bårdsen, B.-J., Næss, M. W., Singh, N. J., and Åhman, B. (2017). The Pursuit of Population Collapses: Long-Term Dynamics of Semi-Domestic Reindeer in Sweden. Human Ecology 45(2):161-175. 10.1007/s10745-016-9880-3.
  • Næss, W. W. (in prep). Cooperative solutions to common problems—the siida system in the reindeer husbandry. Paper currently being written. It's focuses on differences and similarties between the siida system in Finnmark and Sør-Trøndelag/Hedmark.
Communicated Results

Media reports:


Interdisciplinary Cooperation

Project team consists of one anthropologists and two ecologists.

Budget in accordance to results

Budget is spent in accordance with proposal in 2017.

Could results from the project be subject for any commercial utilization