Research Group Saxinger

Research Topic

Extractive industries, Indigenous studies, gender, subsistence, multi-locality, remoteness, mobility

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.

Department for Social Anthropology, University of Bern (CH)

Short Biography


  • Susanna Gartler, PhD Student, Dpt. of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Univ. of Vienna. PhD Project: First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun cultural revitalisation and the making of a cultural centre. Projects Nunataryuk and LACE.
  • Gertraud Illmeier, MA Student,  Dpt. of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Univ. of Vienna. Project CoRe. Fieldwork in the region of the Baikal Amur Mainline (BAM) in the Irkutskaya Oblask, looking at mobility potentials of people living in regions off the BAM tracks. MA Project: Old Paths and New Roads – Changing Infrastructures of Northern Mobilities.

Former Team Members

  • Miguel Roncero
  • Elisabeth Öfner
  • Tara Cater
  • Linn Sükar Kogler
  • Elena Nuikina

Gertraud Illmeier


Susanna Gartler

Selected Publications

  • Saxinger, Gertrude (2021) Rootedness along the way: meaningful sociality in petroleum and mining mobile worker camps”. In: Mobilities,: 1-18. DOI: 10.1080/17450101.2021.1885844
  • Saxinger, Gertrude (2020) “Multilokalität als Normalisierungspraxis und synchrone Raumintegrationsleistung bei Fernpendelnden in der Erdöl- und Erdgasindustrie in Russlands Arktis” (Multilocality as practices of normalisation and synchronic spatial integration among long-distance commuters (FIFO workers) in the Arctic Russian oil and gas industry”: 322-328.
  • Susanna Gartler/Joella Hogan/Gertrude Saxinger/Elders of the First Nation of Nacho Nyäk Dun (2019) Dan Hunay – Our People’s Story. First Nation of Nacho Nyäk Dun Elders’s Memories and Opinions on Mining. Publishers: Yukon College/ReSDA/First Nation of Nacho Nyäk Dun. 80pp. http://yukonresearch.yukoncollege.yk.ca/resda/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2014/05/DAN-HUNAY-WEB1.pdf
  • Kuklina, Vera/Saxinger, Gertrude/Povoroznyuk, Olga (2019) “Power of Rhythms – Trains and Work along the Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM) in Siberia” 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.
  • “In limbo between state and corporate responsibility: Transport infrastructure in the oil village Verkhnemarkovo, Irkutskaya Oblast in Russia” von Gertrude Saxinger, Natalia Krasnosthanova, Gertraud Illmeier. In: IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 190 (2018), 012062. doi :10.1088/1755-1315/190/1/012062, PDF Open Access: http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1755-1315/190/1/012062
  • Saxinger, Gertrude/Gartler, Susanna (2018) Mobile Workers Guide: coping with FIFO and rotational shift work. (popular science outreach) Online publication/OA:  fifo-guide.jimdo.com, 64 pp.
  • 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: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0032247416000693
  • 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. http://www.boehlau-verlag.com/download/164125/978-3-205-79694-7_OpenAccess.pdf, 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 Society3/1: 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.
  • 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
  • Saxinger, Gertrude (2015) Behind the Scenes in Yukon Mining: Work, camp and family life in Yukon mining today. http://yukonresearch.yukoncollege.yk.ca/resda/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2014/05/LACE-folder.pdf, 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 Geography193/1: 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.
  • 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.


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