Fabian Bergmann, M.A.

Fabian Bergmann is a Doctoral Researcher at the Cluster of Excellence "The Politics of Inequality" at the University of Konstanz .


Doctoral Project: 

"Horizontal inequality in egalitarian societies? The Sámi in Norway and Sweden"

In my doctoral research project I investigate how current national policies are linked to perceived inequality between the indigenous Sámi populations and the majority populations in Norway and Sweden. Harsh assimilation and segregation policies in the second half of the 19th and first half of the 20th century had severe effects on Sámi identity, language and culture in both countries. Today, the Norwegian and Swedish governments putatively seek to protect and promote Sámi culture by adopting particular policies in areas such as self-determination, territorial rights, and language and education. However, these policies significantly differ between the two countries and there is a broad consensus among political scientists, legal scholars and international observers that the Norwegian policies offers more political power resources and avenues for self-determination than their Swedish counterparts. Consequently, my main research questions are a) whether these policies suitably work as remedies for the past injustices, or whether forms of horizontal inequalities – and perceptions thereof – between the Sámi and majority populations can still be found and b) whether the differences between Norwegian and Swedish Sámi policies are reflected in differences between their impacts as such remedies. Despite the conventional view of Norway and Sweden having rather egalitarian societies, public health research in both countries already provided an informative basis for the assumption that there still exist horizontal inequalities between the Sámi and majority populations regarding perceptions of discrimination and self-assessed health. Political science research, on the other hand, has shown that the Swedish Sámi are less integrated into the national political system than the Sámi in Norway. What is missing thus far, however, is a comprehensive cross-country account of how Sámi policies are linked to perceptions of political, socio-economic and social status inequality. I aim to close this knowledge-gap by using original data from a survey among the Sámi and non-Sámi populations of Norway and Sweden’s northern regions, which is conducted by the Ethnic Policies-project at the Cluster of Excellency “The Politics of Inequality”.

Research Interests:

  • Indigenous politics
  • International relations particularly with regard to economic sanctions
  • Quasi-experimental research designs

Learn more about Fabian Bergmann