The paper develops a sustainable development framework for individual and collective capabilities in mixed subsistence and wage-based economies. We apply this framework to such regions of the Arctic and evaluate interactions and conflicts between two sectors of the mixed economy and between current and future generations of Arctic inhabitants. A recent Arctic Social Indicators Report published by the Arctic Human Development Report (AHDR) Task Force recognizes the importance of the mixed economy in the Arctic and aims to integrate collective assets, as well as individual assets in order to understand the human development in the Arctic. Yet due to its concerns of comparability of social development and data availability across the whole Arctic region (of which some parts do not have the similar population structure), its proposed indicators are not capable of covering the social development of predominantly indigenous regions of the North. We emphasize the importance of tracking collective capabilities, as well as individual capabilities to sustain community development. In addition we suggest that environmental sustainability, which is ignored by the AHDR Task Force, has to be integrated with social development as environmental deterioration significantly influences the social well-being and cultural stability of traditional inhabitants of the Arctic. We critically review the proposed indicators of the AHDR Task Force and make supplementary and alternative suggestions.

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Keywords Arctic region, Indigenous people, Individual and collective capabilities, Social development indicators, Sustainable development
Persistent URL
Journal Social Indicators Research
Ozkan, U.R. (Umut Riza), & Schott, S. (2013). Sustainable Development and Capabilities for the Polar Region. Social Indicators Research, 114(3), 1259–1283. doi:10.1007/s11205-012-0201-y