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Citizen participation or representative government: building legitimacy for the Gothenburg congestion tax
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. Department of Economy and Society, Unit of Human Geography, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5322-4305
2015 (English)In: Transport Policy, ISSN 0967-070X, E-ISSN 1879-310X, Vol. 39, p. 1-8Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A key dilemma in transport planning involves how to make possible the radical changes needed for long-term sustainability while ensuring political legitimacy and democratic process. Congestion charges are a case in point; despite their being considered an effective policy measure for improving environmental and health problems in cities, it has proved difficult to secure public acceptance for them. This paper analyses the policy process behind the introduction of a congestion tax in the Swedish city of Gothenburg, focusing on strategies for building legitimacy for the tax. The results show that the tax was legitimated primarily through its broad support in the City Council, which had been secured by integrating the tax with infrastructure investments, while strategies for directly involving the citizens in the process, such as public consultation and local referendums, were neglected or actively opposed. The process successfully generated a capacity for decisive political action legitimated through representative government. Over time the decision may gain public acceptance, but the process used might also prove detrimental to the future of the congestion tax and undermine trust in the democratic institutions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 39, p. 1-8
Keywords [en]
Citizen participation; Congestion charges; Democracy; Legitimacy; Policy change; Public acceptance
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-41032DOI: 10.1016/j.tranpol.2015.01.002ISI: 000351643100001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84921345464OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-41032DiVA, id: diva2:779386
Funder
Swedish Research Council FormasVINNOVAChalmers Sustainable Transport Initiative
Note

Funding agencies:

Sustainable Transport Initiative  

University of Gothenburg  

Available from: 2015-01-12 Created: 2015-01-12 Last updated: 2018-09-16Bibliographically approved

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Hysing, Erik

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf