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“Forest property rights under attack”: Actors, networks and claims about forest ownership in the Swedish press 2014–2017
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2739-0497
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
2020 (English)In: Forest Policy and Economics, ISSN 1389-9341, E-ISSN 1872-7050, Vol. 111, article id 102038Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Sweden is a leading country in governance of property rights, according to global assessments, but Swedish landowners currently argue that their forest property rights are being eroded. Thus, the aim of this article is to investigate when and why the current debate on forest property rights came about, and its resemblance to discussion in an ‘echo-chamber’. This refers to an arena in which information is accessed from limited sources and a small number of actors with ideological homogeneity may exert substantial influence and reinforce established opinions. Hence, it may spread disinformation, increase polemic tensions, and hamper deliberative policy processes in society. We assess the resemblance by identifying where the issue is debated in printed news media, the active actors, the interests they represent and how they problematize property rights, i.e. the claims they make and the claims’ homogeneity. Our results show that the debate has intensified in recent years, but several issues are not new. The debate is mainly limited to the Swedish rural business press and rural conservative press. Moreover, the main claim-makers are representatives of land and forest owner organizations, and members of agrarian and conservative political parties, which have close organizational and individual connections, thereby forming a metaphorical ‘chamber’. The ‘echo’ consists of repetitive claims about withdrawal and management rights, with no efforts to examine and contextualize complex aspects of private property rights in a changing society. The debate about forest ownership in an echo-chamber is problematic in several ways. It hampers efforts of claim-makers in the chamber to reach out, undermines current systems’ legitimacy, and locks important questions about sustainable forestry and property rights into a narrow societal sphere.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020. Vol. 111, article id 102038
Keywords [en]
Forestry; Conservation policy; Echo-chamber; Forest property rights; Printed press
National Category
History History of Ideas
Research subject
History Of Sciences and Ideas; History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-165965DOI: 10.1016/j.forpol.2019.102038Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85074728277OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-165965DiVA, id: diva2:1375513
Projects
Är äganderätten hotad? En historisk jämförelse av gränserna för den privata äganderätten till skogsmark
Note

Finansierat av Skogssällskapet

Available from: 2019-12-05 Created: 2019-12-05 Last updated: 2019-12-06

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Sténs, AnnaMårald, Erland

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