Department of Comparative Politics
New associate professor

Welcome to Aaron as department’s associate professor of Arctic geopolitics

Aaron John Spitzer, until recently a førstelektor (associate teaching professor) at UiB’s Department of Comparative Politics, has been promoted to the rank of associate professor. His position is connected to the Nansen-Initiative with a focus on governance and geopolitics of the Arctic.

Portrett av Aaron Spitzer
Eivind Senneset

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Spitzer received his PhD from Sampol in 2020 with the dissertation “The metapolitics of settler-colonialism.” His M.A. is in Arctic and Northern Studies from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and his B.A. is in Political Science from Carleton College.

In his new role, Spitzer will continue teaching Sampol 203, Comparative Arctic Indigenous Governance; Sampol 371, Arctic politics; and co-teaching Sampol 105, State- and nation-building. He recently received funding to collaborate with the universities of Tromsø, Alaska, and Northern British Columbia to launch a PhD field course, Arctic (geo)politics and (de)colonization.   

Aaron has two main areas of research. In the first, he employs comparative methods to study Arctic and Indigenous governance, especially examining what Sami might learn from, and contribute to, Indigenous governance in Canada and the US. With this focus, he is a core member of the Sampol-based research group “Indigenous People and Governance in the Arctic,” and has published articles with Sampol professor Per Selle, including in the International Journal of Minority and Group Rights and Canadian Journal of Political Science

In his second area of research, Aaron employs constitutional law and normative political theory to explore “metapolitics,” meaning contestation over the boundaries between the foreign and the domestic, especially in settler-colonial democracies. To that end he has published recently in the Journal of International Political Theory and Territory, Politics, Governance.

A dual American and Canadian citizen, Aaron came to Norway in 2016 with a background in newspaper, magazine, and television journalism in Alaska and Arctic Canada. He thanks his Sampol colleagues for all their support thus far and looks forward to continued collaborations and inspiration.