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From government to governance?: a comparison of environmental governing in Swedish forestry and transport
Örebro University, Department of Social and Political Sciences. (Forskarskolan urbana studier)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5322-4305
2009 (English)In: Governance. An International Journal of Policy, Administration and Institutions, ISSN 0952-1895, E-ISSN 1468-0491, Vol. 22, no 4, 647-672 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

From government to governance is a grand story line about the changing role of the state, which has had a great impact upon researchers and practitioners. This article is an empirical assessment of this story line. Three critical dimensions are elaborated into indicators of government and governance: governing styles and instruments, public–private relationships, and policy levels. These indicators are used to assess the role of the state in environmental governing using Swedish forestry and transport as examples. The results show that the story line is too simple; the role of the state is not changing in a unidirectional way. Instead, the comparison shows that environmental governing within the two policy areas is characterized by both government and governance modes of governing, thus questioning the usefulness of the story line as a guideline when framing empirical studies or political decisions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley-Blackwell, 2009. Vol. 22, no 4, 647-672 p.
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-8046DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0491.2009.01457.xISI: 000270151200006Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-70349423543OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-8046DiVA: diva2:241156
Available from: 2009-10-01 Created: 2009-10-01 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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