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Governing without government?: the private governance of forest certification in Sweden
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. (Forskarskolan Urbana Studier)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5322-4305
2009 (English)In: Public Administration, ISSN 0033-3298, E-ISSN 1467-9299, Vol. 87, no 2, 312-326 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The role and capacity of the state are changing. Some researchers argue that the state is transforming, strategically adapting to new circumstances, while others see a development of governing arrangements that are autonomous from the state, governing ‘without’ government. This article assesses the governing without government thesis through the case of forest certification introduced in Sweden in the late 1990s. This is a case of private governance, the governing capacity of which is based on voluntary self-regulation rather than government authority, seemingly a prime example of governing without government. The results show that government nonetheless is involved with forest certification through governance-oriented modes of governing: enabling and influencing the arrangements. Thus, what appeared to be a prime example of governing ‘without’ government is better understood as governing ‘with’ government.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009. Vol. 87, no 2, 312-326 p.
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-7724DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9299.2009.01750.xISI: 000266339800009Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-66349086102OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-7724DiVA: diva2:232659
Available from: 2009-08-25 Created: 2009-08-25 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Governing towards sustainability: environmental governance and policy change in Swedish forestry and transport
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Governing towards sustainability: environmental governance and policy change in Swedish forestry and transport
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Faced with environmental problems such as climate change and biodiversity loss, the dominant political response has been sustainable development, balancing environmental protection against economic prosperity and social justice. While political action is increasingly being called for, the role and capacity of the state is questioned – as captured neatly in the story from government to governance that implies a relocation of authority and power between policy levels and in public-private relations, as well as a radical restructuring within public administration. Taking its conceptual point of departure in theories of sustainable development, govern­ance, and policy change, this thesis assesses, explains, and theorises about recent developments of environmental governing within Swedish forestry and transport, two areas with high environmental impact and that involve strong eco­nomic val­ues and interests. The findings are presented in four articles that have all been published in leading academic journals. The thesis concludes that public policy has changed within both policy areas as environmental objectives and new modes of governing have been adopted – a development that can be characterised as governing towards sustainability. However, the storyline from government to governance is too simple to capture these changes. The state remains important in several ways (actor, arena, institutional structure, form of authority) and influ­ences society through a variety of modes of governing. Thus, governance and government remain relevant. To explain policy change we need to recognise mul­tiple barriers to and enablers of change as well as having a contextual under­standing of the policy area in focus. The thesis concludes by arguing that sustain­able development needs to be politicised in terms of visible political action and open political contestation between differing visions of a sustainable society.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitet, 2010. 104 p.
Series
Örebro Studies in Political Science, ISSN 1650-1632 ; 27
Keyword
governance, government, modes of governing, public policy, policy change, sustainable development, environmental politics, Swedish forestry, forest policy, Swedish transport, transport policy, politicisation, governing towards sustainability
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies) Social Sciences
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-9030 (URN)978-91-7668-712-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-02-05, Hörsal L2, Långhuset, Örebro universitet, Örebro, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2010-01-12 Created: 2010-01-07 Last updated: 2017-10-18Bibliographically approved

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Hysing, Erik

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