Research Group Saxinger

Research Interest

The overall interest of this research group is the socio-economic wellbeing and multi-perspective topics related to the development of the extractive industries in the Arctic and Sub-Arctic. Therefore, the relation of people to their environment (practices, symbolism, ideas, subsistence) and the interaction between local communities and the resource industry are touched upon.
One key area is long-distance commuting (LDC) or so called fly-in/fly-out (FIFO) work which is today the prime form of labour organisation in remote mining regions of the world.
The Russian and Canadian projects discuss mobility and multi-locality as well as subsistence related themes among indigenous and non-indigenous populations in the North. Another key area is regional development of remote places and mono-industrial towns.
The collaborative project in Finland focuses on human security in the Arctic. We relate extractive industrial developments to human security from a geopolitical perspective as well as we look on entanglements on the micro level.
Our APRI working group consists of anthropologists, political scientists and geographers.


  • Susanna Gartler, PhD cand. (University of Vienna, Department for Social and Cultrual Anthropology & APRI) – LACE project
    The relation of subsistence activities and mobile wage work in the mining sector in Yukon, supervisor: Prof. Peter Schweitzer, co-supervisor Dr. Gertrude Saxinger
  • Tara Cater, Ph.D cand. (Carleton University in Ottawa, Department for Geography & APRI) – LACE project
    LACE affiliated research project in Nunavut, Canada; Dissertation title: Exploring Resource Development-Related Migration in the Kivalliq Region, Nunavut, doctoral supervisor Prof. Emelie Cameron
  • Linn Sükar, BA student, Department for Social and Culturla Anthropology at the University of Vienna – LACE project
    Topic: regional impacts of FIFO in New Foundland in times of bust in the Alberta oil sands industry
  • J. Miguel Roncero Martin, PhD cand. (University of Vienna, Department for Political Sciences & APRI) – HuSArctic project
    Security and Cooperation in the Arctic: Threats, Perceptions and Discourses for Small Arctic States, tentative doctoral supervisor Univ.Doz. Dr. Paul Luif
  • Gertraud Illmeier, MA (University of Vienna) – CoRe project
    She is MA student in Social and Cultural Anthropology and does field work in the region of the Baikal Amur Mainline (BAM) in the Irkutskaya Oblast. She looks on mobility potentials of people living in regions off the BAM tracks.
  • Elisabeth Öfner, PhD cand. (University of Vienna, Department for Social and Cultural Anthropology & APRI) – Lives on the Move project
    The effects of long-distance commute work on social relations: A comparative analysis in the Republic of Bashkortostan, supervisor: Prof. Peter Schweitzer, co-supervisor Dr. Gertrude Saxinger
  • Working Group lead: Dr. Gertrude (Eilmsteiner) Saxinger (University of Vienna, Department for Social and Cultrual Anthropology & APRI)
    CV Gertrude Saxinger


Gertrude Saxinger: Polar Talk #1 in the Museum of Natural History, Vienna

 Selected Publications

  • Kuklina, Vera/Saxinger, Gertrude/Povoroznyuk, Olga (2019). “Power of Rhythms – Trains and Work along the Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM) in Siberia”. In: Polar Geography Journal.
  • Saxinger, G. and  First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun (2018) “Community Based Partcipatory Research as a Long-Term Process: Reflexions on Becoming Partners in Understanding Social Dimensions of Mining in the Yukon”, The Northern Review, 47: 187–207.
  • Saxinger, Gertrude/Krasnosthanova, Natalia/Illmeier, Gertraud (2018). “In limbo between state and corporate responsibility: Transport infrastructure in the oil village Verkhnemarkovo, Irkutskaya Oblast in Russia”. In: IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science 190 012062.
  • Öfner, Elisabeth (2017). In den Norden fernpendeln: Arbeitsmobilität im ruralen Baschkortostan, Russische Föderation. Dissertation, Universität Wien
  • Seidl, Gregor/Saxinger, Gertrude (2016). Hunters and Gatherers in the Industrialised World (Editorial). In: Journal für Entwicklungspolitik XXXII (4): 4-16.
  • Hossain, Kamrul/Roncero Martin, J. Miguel/Petrétei, Anna/Holienčin, Filip (2016) Introduction. In: Hussain K. et al. (eds) Indigenous peoples of the North and human security. Leiden: Brill
  • Hossain, Kamrul/Zojer, Gerald/Greaves, Wilfrid/Roncero, J. Miguel/Sheehan, Michael (2016) Constructing Arctic security: an inter-disciplinary approach to understanding security in the Barents region. In: Polar Record: 1-15.  DOI:
  • Saxinger, G./Öfner, E., Shakirova, E., Ivanova, M., Yakolev, M., Gareyev, E. (2016) Ready to go! The next generation of mobile highly skilled workforce in the Russian petroleum industry. In: The Extractive Industries and Society 3/3: 627-639.
  • Saxinger, Gertrude (2016) Unterwegs. Mobiles Leben in der Erdgas- und Erdölindustrie in Russlands Arktis /Мобильный образ жизни вахтовых рабочих нефтегазовой промышленности на Русском Крайнем Севере/Lives on the Move – Long-distance Commuting in the Northern Russian Petroleum Industry. With an extended summary in English and Russian. Wien/Weimar/Köln: Böhlau., 17/08/2016
  • Saxinger, Gertrude (2016) Lured by oil and gas: Labour mobility, multi-locality and negotiating normality & extreme in the Russian Far North. In: The Extractive Industries and Society 3/1: 50-59.
  • Saxinger, Gertrude (2016) Infinite Travel: The Impact of Labor Conditions on Mobility Potential in the Northern Russian Petroleum Industry. In: Laruelle, M. (ed.): New Mobilities and Social Changes in Russia’s Arctic Regions. London: Routledge: 85-103.
  • Saxinger, G./Petrov, A./Kuklina, V./Krasnostanova, N./Carson, D.A. (2016) Boom back or blow back? Growth strategies in mono-industrial resource towns – “east” & “west””. In: Taylor, A./Carson, D.B./Ensign, P./Huskey, L./Rasmussen, R./Saxinger, G. (eds.): Settlements at the Edge: Remote human settlements in developed nations. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing: 49-74.
  • Saxinger, Gertrude (2015) Behind the Scenes in Yukon Mining: Work, camp and family life in Yukon mining today., 18/08/2016
  • Saxinger, Gertrude (2015)  Glossary. In: Panzer, S. and Simmel, Ch. (eds) Gazprom City. Vienna: Schleebrügge Editors, pp. pp 118-129
  • Saxinger, Gertrude (2015) ”To you, to us, to oil and gas” – The symbolic and socio-economic attachment of the workforce to oil, gas and its spaces of extraction in the Yamal-Nenets and Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Districts in Russia. In: Fennia- International Journal of Geography 193/1: 83–98.
  • Roncero, Miguel / Gregory Weeks (2015) The Internationalization of Civil Wars: R2P and its implications in a globalized world. In: Viñas, Martin/Puell de la Villa (eds.) La Historia Militar Hoy: Investigaciones y tendencias. Madrid: Instituto Universitario General Gutiérrez Mellado – Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia: 387-415.
  • Saxinger, G., Elisabeth Öfner, Elena Nuikina (forthcoming 2015), Mobil’nost’ I migratsiya iz Recpubliki Bashkortostan v regiony Kraynego Severa Rossii [Mobility and migration from the Republic of Bashkortostan to the Russian North]. In: Rim Valiakhmetova (ed.) Trudovye resursy, zanyatost‘ i chelovecheskoe razvitie: Doklad o razvitii chelovecheskogo potentsiala v Respublike Bashkortostan. Ufa: Institut sotsial’no-politicheskich I pravovykh issledovaniy.pp.TBA
  • Saxinger, Gertrude / Elena Nuykina / Elisabeth Öfner (forthcoming 2015): The Russian North Connected – The Role of Long-Distance Commute Work for Regional Integration. In: Sustainable Northern Cities in Russia, Orttung, R. (ed.) Berghan. pp. TBA.
  • Saxinger, Gertrude / Elisabeth Öfner / Elvira Šakirova / Maria Ivanova / Maksim Yakovlev / Eduard Gareev (2014) “Ya gotov!”: Novoe pokolenie mobil’nykh kadrov v rossiyskoy neftegazovoy promishlennosti. In: Sibirskie istoricheskie issledovaniya, 3, pp. 73-103
  • Nuikina, Elena (2014) Making a viable city: visons, strategies and practices. Doctoral thesis at the U of Vienna. pp. 249.
  • Saxinger, Gertrude (2014) Vakhtovy metod v neftegazovoy otrasli rossiyskogo kraynego severa. In: Silin, A.A. / A.L. Khaytun (eds.), Toplivno-energeticheskiy kompleks rossii: aktual’nye problem I strategiya razvitiya. Penza: Rio PGSKHA. pp. 57-63.
  • Saxinger, Gertrude (2014) Vakhtovy metod: sotsial’no-antropologicheskoe issledovanie na kaynem severe. In: Izvestiya vyszhykh ychenbnykh zavedeniy: Sotsioilogiya. Ekonomika. Politika. pp. 24-26.
  • Saxinger, Gertrude / Susanna Gartler (2014) Review: Frozen assets. British mining, exploration, and geopolitics on Spitsbergen, 1904-53 by Frigga Kruse. In: Polar Journal, 4/2, pp. 409-411. DOI:10.1080/2154896X.2014.960676
  • Saxinger, Gertrude / Elisabeth Öfner / Elv‘ira Šakirova / Maria Ivanova / Maksim Yakovlev / Eduard Gareev (2014) „Ich bin bereit“ – Die nächste Generation mobiler Fachkräfte in der russischen Erdgas- und Erdölindustrie. Eine Untersuchung zur Bereitschaft für berufsbedingtes Fernpendeln in den Norden bei Studierenden an der Staatlichen Technischen Erdöluniversität in Ufa. In: Austrian Studies in Social Anthropology, Journal 2/2014, pp. 1-24
  • Öfner Elisabeth (2014) Russia’s long-distance commuters in the oil and gas industry: social mobility and current developments – an anthropological perspective from the Republic of Bashkortostan. In: Journal of Rural and Community Development.Special Issue: Community impacts from large oil and natural gas ventures in rural and remote areas
  • Roncero, Miguel / Enrique San Martín (2013) Nabucco’s coup de grâce. In: Real Instituto Elcano, Expert Comment 71/2013.
  • Roncero, Miguel / Gregory Weeks (2013) Doomed to Failure? Lack of an Accepted Definition and Flawed Statistics as the Two Main Problems with Current International Efforts to Fight Corruption. In: Favorita Papers 01/2013, Diplomatische Akademie Wien, pp 104-109.
  • Keeling, Arn / Tara Cater (2013) ”That’s where our future came from”: Mining, landscape, and memory in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut. Études/Inuit/Studies, 37 (2). pp. 59-82.
  • Eilmsteiner-Saxinger, Gertrude (2013) Mobiles Leben der FernpendlerInnen in der Erdgas- und Erdölindustrie im Norden Russlands”, doctoral thesis at the U of Vienna, pp. 277.
  • Öfner Elisabeth (2013) Sotsial’naya mobil’nost’ spetsialistov recpubliki bashkortostan, rabotayushchich vakhtovym metodom [Social mobility among young specialists from the Republic of Bashkortostan]. In: R. M. Valiachmetov (Hg.) Molodezh’ na rynke truda: problemy i puti resheniya: materialy mezhregional’noy shkoly-seminara molodykh uchenykh. Ufa: izdatel’stvo “Vostochnaya pechat’”. pp. 154-158.
  • Nuykina, Elena (2013) Vliyanie vakhtovogo metoda organizatsii proizvodsv na bazovie goroda Rossiyskogo severa: na primere goroda Vorkuty. [The impact of long-distance commuting on the base towns of the Russian North: case study of Vorkuta] /Izvestiya Komi Nauchnogo tsentra UrO RAN, N1 (13), pp. 107-116
  • Eilmsteiner-Saxinger, Gertrude (2013) Bodenschätze und Menschenschätze Zur sozialen und materialen Dimension der fossilen Rohstoffe in Nordwest-Sibirien im Kontext des Fernpendelns. In: Wege zum Norden. Wiener Forschungen zur Arktis und Subarktis, Donecker/Eberhard/Hirsperger (Hg.), Wien: LIT, pp 144-165
  • Öfner, Elisabeth/Ivanova, Maria/Mukhametgaleeva, El‘vira/Yakovlev, Maksim (2012) Novoe pokolenie vakhtovikov na Kraynem Severe Rossii: Studenty Ufimskogo Gosudarstvennogo Neftyanogo Universiteta (Rossiya) [The new generation of long distance commute worker in the Russian North: Students at the Ufa State Petroleum Technological University (Russia)]. In: KGUTiI – Nauchnyy zhurnal, Kaspiyskiy gosudartsnvennyy universitet tekhnologiy i inzhiniringa im. Sh. Esenova: Aktau (Kazachstan)
  • Eilmsteiner-Saxinger, Gertrude (2011) “We feed the nation” – benefits and challenges of simultaneous use of resident and long-distance commuting labour in Russia´s northern hydrocarbon industry. In: Journal of Contemporary Issues in Business & Government, Volume 17 Number 1, pp. 53-67
  • Elena Nuykina (2011): Resettlement from the Russian North: an analysis of state-induced relocation policy, edited and with a preface by Florian Stammler, Arctic Centre Report 55
  • Stammler, Florian and Gertrude Eilmsteiner-Saxinger (eds.) (2010) Biography, Shift-labour and Socialisation in a Northern Industrial City. Proceedings of the International Conference in Novy Urengoi 4th – 6th Dec 2008. pp. 220 English and Russian language. Online edition: Arctic Center Rovaniemi and University of Vienna, Dep. of Geography
  • Eilmsteiner-Saxinger, Gertrude (2010) Commuting to the Siberian Far North – when Extreme becomes Normality. In: TRANS 17. TRANS – Internetzeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften

Former Members

  • Dr. Elena Nuykina (University of Vienna, Department for Geography & APRI) – Lives on the Move project
    Single industry towns in the Russian Far North, doctoral supervisors: Prof. Heinz Fassman, Prof. Florian Stammler


Oil extraction site in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District-Jugra, Russia

Oil extraction site in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District-Jugra, Russia

Mobility in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District, Russia

Mobility in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District, Russia