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Community safety policies in Sweden: a policy change in crime control strategies?
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. (Centrum för urbana och regionala studier)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6735-0011
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8695-4504
2012 (English)In: International Journal of Public Administration, ISSN 0190-0692, E-ISSN 1532-4265, Vol. 35, no 5, p. 293-302Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Internationally, there has been a general trend towards crime prevention and community safety measures. The main policy ideas and instruments associated with this trend have spread widely in Western countries. This article examines the Swedish national crime prevention policy. As Sweden is a welfare society with a long tradition of social crime prevention, it is of great interest to explore to what extent the aforementioned trend has influenced its crime prevention policy. We do this by examining Sweden’s national policy and how its concepts have spread to the local level—specifically, to municipalities and their local crime prevention councils. We find that there has been a preventive shift in Sweden, although not as far-reaching as in many other European countries. Substantial changes have occurred in the understanding and direction of crime prevention work, and the question is to what extent this development will continue.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2012. Vol. 35, no 5, p. 293-302
Keywords [en]
crime prevention, community safety, preventive turn, policy convergence, Sweden
National Category
Sociology Political Science
Research subject
Sociology; Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-24083DOI: 10.1080/01900692.2011.646084Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84859879717OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-24083DiVA, id: diva2:540907
Funder
Swedish Research Council FormasAvailable from: 2012-07-12 Created: 2012-07-12 Last updated: 2017-10-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The dynamics of policy formation: making sense of feelings of public unsafety
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The dynamics of policy formation: making sense of feelings of public unsafety
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Every policy problem has inherent value dimensions. It is on the basis of values that a state of affairs is perceived as undesirable, and thus acknowledged as a problem. This makes the process of defining and negotiating the meaning of a problem an essentially political process. Despite this, bureaucracy and expertise have a strong, if not increasing, influence over the formation of policy problems. An objectivist knowledge view predominates within the public managerial realm, which obscures the political dimension of problem formulation, while policy problems tend to be approached as a matter of efficiency.

This thesis provides an account of mechanisms that shape and constrain the way a particular policy problem is understood and addressed. It analyses how policy actors make sense of particular problems, by drawing on different discourses (scientific, institutional, popular or media). The empirical case of this thesis is the formation of public safety policy in Sweden. The understanding of the problem of unsafety within Swedish policy is shown to be intrinsically related to the research field of fear of crime. The two are mutually dependent and exert an ideational path dependency. The ideational constraints on the understanding of unsafety are further affected by the institutional setting. It is argued that the appointed institutions and the emphasis on local level have a part in fostering individualist explanations and solutions,while obviating structural interpretations of the problem.

The thesis finds that when governing complex policy problems there is a need to pay closer attention to how the problem is defined and how its meaning is constrained. It is crucial to make transparent the values inherent in definitions of problems as well as in research claims. By acknowledging the entwinement of policy and research the policy formation process may become characterized by greater reflexivity, and the possibility of resolving wicked problems may enlarge.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro university, 2014. p. 99
Series
Örebro Studies in Political Science, ISSN 1650-1632 ; 36
Keywords
Policy formation, wicked problems, sensemaking, safety, unsafety, fear of crime, policy change, discourse, ideas, interpretive, policy transfer
National Category
Political Science Public Administration Studies
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-35087 (URN)978-91-7529-037-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-09-19, Forumhuset, Hörsal F, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-05-20 Created: 2014-05-20 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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Lidskog, RolfPersson, Monika

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