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Greening transport: explaining urban transport policy change
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. (Forskarskolan Urbana Studier)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5322-4305
2009 (English)In: Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning, ISSN 1523-908X, E-ISSN 1522-7200, Vol. 11, no 3, 243-261 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Transport policy has proven highly resistant to change despite growing environmental problems. However, in the Swedish city of Örebro, objectives and policy measures in support of ecological sustainability have successfully been introduced in urban transport policies adopted by the local government. This article explains how this 'greening' became possible. Three variables of change proved highly important to understand policy change in this case: (i) new policy ideas of sustainable transport, (ii) reorganization of the local administration and (iii) the pressure of green policy entrepreneurs. A common denominator behind all these changes was the reformation of urban transport into a political issue through discursive changes and an active involvement by elected politicians, that is, politicization. The continuing importance of politics in contemporary policy processes as complex as transport is an important lesson from this case, that is, politics still matters.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Routledge , 2009. Vol. 11, no 3, 243-261 p.
Keyword [en]
Sustainable transport, policy change, governance, environmental governing, urban planning, politicization
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-7725DOI: 10.1080/15239080903056417ISI: 000270423700006Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-70349970736OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-7725DiVA: diva2:232660
Available from: 2009-08-25 Created: 2009-08-25 Last updated: 2017-03-15Bibliographically 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: 2016-08-10Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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