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I have a believable plot solution for this already but I was interested on hearing what would you think would be the most probable chain of events that led to Bear Island (currently part of Norway) claiming independence in a way that was not against the will of mainland Norway?

This is to happen in a not so distant future with more sophisticated automation making smaller scale industry more self reliant, and largely solving the inhospitable nature of the place together with climate change. Population would be a lot less than a million in this case.

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  • $\begingroup$ Does anyone actually live there to claim independence? $\endgroup$ – Separatrix Nov 24 '16 at 18:28
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    $\begingroup$ I am disappointed in this question. I really expected there to be a nation of bears, run by bears, in here. :( $\endgroup$ – Syndic Nov 25 '16 at 14:11
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Norway is a highly developed, democratic country. So the one and only obvious way would be

  1. Create a population that can credibly speak for itself.
  2. Call for a referendum and win it.

The low population makes this time-consuming but it might be feasible. Send people there, have them build houses and raise families, by the time you have native-born islanders ready to vote it is time to start the campaign.

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  • $\begingroup$ This is indeed the only way, but since the whole island is a nature reserve, except for a small area around the weather station, political changes will be necessary before people can settle there. Some worthwhile benefit to the existing Norwegian polity from having settlers there will be required, before anyone can go and live there. $\endgroup$ – John Dallman Nov 24 '16 at 21:25

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