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The relative importance of institutional trust in countering feelings of unsafety in disadvantaged neighbourhoods
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8695-4504
2013 (English)In: European Spatial Research and Policy, ISSN 1231-1952, E-ISSN 1896-1525, Vol. 20, no 1, p. 73-95Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The segregated nature of urban areas reflects an uneven exposure to risk and unsafety. This article analyzes the relevance of place to people’s feelings of unsafety by comparing questionnaire responses from people living in a segregated, disadvantaged neighbourhood to a random sample of people living in the same city. The results suggest that the central factors explaining the individual’s feelings of unsafety differ in this particular neighbourhood compared to the broader population. The article shows that place has a moderating effect on feelings of unsafety. Trust in public institutions is argued to be particularly important in segregated, disadvantaged neighbourhoods because of its potential to prevent feelings of unsafety.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
De Gruyter Open, 2013. Vol. 20, no 1, p. 73-95
Keyword [en]
Feelings of unsafety, trust, moderation, segregation
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-32440DOI: 10.2478/esrp-2013-0004Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84992315595OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-32440DiVA, id: diva2:664905
Available from: 2013-11-18 Created: 2013-11-18 Last updated: 2018-03-06Bibliographically 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
Keyword
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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Persson, Monika

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